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Arena signs Barcelona bronze medallist Giulio Zorzi

Tolentino, 27 February, 2014 - Arena, one of the world’s leading brands in aquatic sports, is pleased to announce that it has signed a sponsorship agreement with South African breaststroke swimmer, Giulio Zorzi. The 25-year-old, who lives and trains in Pretoria, South Africa, won the 50m breaststroke bronze medal in his first appearance at a World Championships in Barcelona 2013.

Zorzi was born and brought up in Pretoria with a strong Italian influence in the home due to his father’s origins. From an early age he started swimming and training with Olympic gold medallist and Elite Team member Cameron van der Burgh, who has become a close friend. Gil Levy, one-time coach of the two breaststrokers in their younger days, recalls: “The two of them are inseparable, constantly clowning around with a lust for life and a zest for the opportunities they work and train so hard for – to their fullest.”

After steady progress in 2011-12 international competition, 2013 emerged as Zorzi’s breakthrough year as he won 50m breaststroke gold at the Universiade in Kazan, Russia, before going on to the World Championships in Barcelona two weeks later. Having finished sixth in the heats, he had a difficult semi-final, but nonetheless qualified in the eighth spot for the final. Zorzi surprised everyone by finishing third from lane 8, one-hundredth of a second ahead of fourth place. The result delighted Van Der Burgh, who called Zorzi up alongside him on the podium to sing the South African anthem arm-in-arm.

Along with Van Der Burgh, Zorzi is coached by German Dirk Lange, who is based in Austria and only sees his protégés a few times a year. He trains at the Players Swim Club in Pretoria under the guidance of local coach Grant Kritzinger.

Zorzi is a qualified civil engineer, and in the future intends to join his brother in their family business.

“I am very proud and honoured to be a part of the arena team,” said Zorzi. “It has been a goal of mine to join their Elite Team for quite some time and it has finally come true. I hope to represent them to the best of my ability and to take the brand forward as the number one brand in swimming.”