Federica Pellegrini Sharpens Her Claws With A Big-Margin-Win 1:55.30 In Riccione

Federica Pellegrini - by Patrick B. Kraemer
Federica Pellegrini - by Patrick B. Kraemer

In the search for the 1:54 zone as the Rio 2016 women’s 200m freestyle battle brews, Federica Pellegrini’s 1:55.30 victory today in Riccione may well produce a shrug. It shouldn’t. And the way she swam it gives a clue as to where she might be planning to be come a fourth Olympic shot at the 200m podium in Rio

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Comments

ThereaLuigi

I know I should not be disappointed, but I am. I thought Fede would go 1:54 high, honestly.

Same with Dotto. 21.91. It’s a good time, but Cielo got kicked out of the Olympics with an identical time. I thought he would go at least 21.8.

Craig Lord

Disappointed you shouldn’t be, ThereaL … depending on what that last lap was like, there might be reason to be much more cheerful…

ThereaLuigi

Vichy 2015: 27.55; 56.51 (28.96); 1:25.99 (29.48); 1:55.00 (29.01)

Riccione 2016: 26.82 55.73 (28.91)1’25.35 (29.62) 1’55.30 (29.95)

She has gained front end speed and lost back end

But perhaps I understand what you are getting at

ThereaLuigi

Ps Craig, Orsi is not bypassing the meet for tactical reasons, he got ill with cytomegalovirus and was forced to pull out. Fortunately for him, the Italian selection criteria are less stringent than those of other countries.

Rafael

Morozov went only 22 at finals.. and no better than 22,6 high..
Manadou Fratus Mcevoy, probably Adrian and Dressel are safe for final.

Last 3 spots will be a tough battle , Proud, Gkmoleev, Dotto, Italo, maybe Orsi..

Ger

Hard to know if FP took it out a little too fast and felt it at the end, or eased off a little; 26.82 is faster than her WR even. Although if she had a 1:54 in her today, why not do it? It would be a good confidence booster.

Craig Lord

Yes, hard to know, Ger, from afar. Why not do it? Because she doesn’t have to, would be an answer. London 2016 on the horizon and a possible match with Sarah Sjostrom (if it happens and if it happens rested)

Craig Lord

Many thanks, ThereaLuigi.

Yozhik

si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait 🙁
I hope that Pellegrini is a disciplined swimmer and does whatever goals were set at this meet.
We have the Euro Championships ahead where she may meet a competition from Sjostrom. This duel can add one more gold ( and maybe PB) line to her resume.

Rafael

Federica and Sjostrom might push themselves, but will Sjostrom focus on European or keep it for Rio? If they are on fire, a 1:54 for both could be possible..

ThereaLuigi

Federica said she wasn’t sure she would go to London for Euro champs. That’s another reason why I was counting on her to drop the bomb in Riccione.

She did not look happy getting out of the pool.

Yozhik

If there were some issues then of course there is no reason to push herself in May. Her personal best at 100 suggested she can surprise with 200 as well. But there were actually no information or rumors saying that she was up to something at this meet. Nobody said yet if she was specially prepared for this meet. We can wait. Get well Federica.
The only bad news came from Luigi saying that she looked disappointed after race. So there WERE some expectations that haven’t materialised.

ThereaLuigi

Yozhik, after the race she said she was hoping in a 1:54

http://www.gazzetta.it/Nuoto/22-04-2016/nuoto-trials-olimpici-pellegrini-brilla-200-150332416418.shtml

“Onestamente speravo di scendere sotto il muro dell’1’55”. Il passaggio di 55″73 è un po’ azzardato, ma volevo provare una gara diversa. Ho pagato lo sforzo nella seconda parte di gara. Infatti le gambe nell’ultimo 50 non le avevo più”

“Honestly I was hoping to get past the ‘1’55 wall. The split at 55″73 is a bit risky, but I wanted to try a different race. I paid for the effort in the second half of the race . In fact, I could no longer feel my legs in the last 50”

Ger

That explains that then TL. Feedback appreciated.

Lo Zar Kolja

Federica is testing a new type of race; of course she isn’t still able to manage her new pace and in fact she was really surprise about her passage at the first 100. Four months and maybe a new test in London could be enough to see the best Pellegrini ever in Rio.

Craig Lord

Thanks ThereaL – quote in article.

felix

Which Kolja wont get close to Katie

Pierre AGOGUE

No reason to be disapointed, she is a very great competitor when it matters. So no doubt she will be challenging the podium in Rio…one a the sud 1.55 will have to let her seat on the podium.

Yozhik

Lo Zar Kolja, Pellegrini’s time in relay (1:54.86) is inline with the individual race (1:55.3). But these two races were swum with completely different strategies.
Last 50 in relay – 28.81, in solo – 29.95.
First 100 in relay 56.34 , in solo -55.73
(I don’t know reaction times in both cases)
It looks like after relay and having fast 100 two days earlier she thought that she had some uninitialized reserves with fast start. It’s appeared that she hasn’t.
Such wild experimentation for the 27 years old who’s swum this distance more times than anybody else doesn’t look promissing to me. I don’t exclude the possibility for going under 1:55, but not very far. I don’t even see what the next move with splits will be. That uncertainty makes me cautious.

Lo Zar Kolja

Yozhik, if u look at all Pellegrini’s results in her career u will see that she has always done better in individual than in relay. Moreover this time she didn’t need to do her best because the relay was easy to win. So I think that she has in her legs and arms a time near 1.54.50

Yozhik

Ok, Lo Zar Kolja. I believe you. But if you say that this relay was easy to win then it says a lot about Pellegrini tactician. She took the start being 6.47sec behind the leader and won at the end 0.52 sec. She was still 4 seconds behind at last turn and finished with 28.81 catching the leader. No panicking at the moderate start, well executed plan. If it was easy as you say then we saw the Master in this race. This relay let me to believe that next day something spectacular will happen. How wrong I was. 1:53 is the best among those who is not 1:54 this season, but 29.71at the end …… She should (actually must) know how much it cost her extra efforts at first half. She was 0.61 seconds faster than relay(!) start.
P.S. Do you know that for Russian speaking person your name sounds very Russian 😀

Yozhik

*1:55.30

aswimfan

I’d rather Pellegrini swim 1:55 here and 1:54 in Rio, rather than the other way around.

In the article 2 days ago re:her 53.7 100 free, I commented that we shouldn’t expect the same progress in 200 considering she is older swimmer. So we shouldn’t be too disappointed and should hope that her best 200 will be swum in Rio.

About 200 free in Rio, if Sjostrom is serious about swimming 200 free mending good preparation, then the race will still be tight between Ledecky and her, but if she’s not, then it’s Ledecky’s to lose.

aswimfan

If I were Pellegrini, I wouldn’t go to Euro. What for.
She’s qualified for Rio. And she usually swims in Seven Hills meets for her Olympics / worlds race training.
Why go to Euro and may potentially second gauge her preparation if she loses to Sjostrom and Heemskerk.
I’d focus on starting the next training block and then race in seven Hills.

aswimfan

Lo zar kolja,

I think it’s too simplistic to say Pellegrini usually swim faster in individual 200 than in the relay. My observation is that she would swim her best in relay if her country/team has any fighting chance for medal.

In Kazan, she swam 1:54.73 in relay
In London, she swam 1:56 in relay prelims because the chance of Italy qualifying for final depend on her swimming fast. But in the final she only anchored in 1:57, because she saw her three teammates swam an average of 2:00 and Pellegrini anchored in the last position.
In 2014 Euro, she swam 1:56.50 as anchor, quick enough to pass Sweden’s Stina Gardell by a body length to win the relay.

aswimfan

What I’m saying is that basically, give Pellegrini a fighting chance, and she will fight like a champion. There is a reason she medaled in 200 free in olympics/worlds in 12 years span.
I’m not sure what happened in 2012, I think she didn’t have good preparation and moved coaches. And ultimately, Allison Schmitt’s devastating front end speed demoralized everyone.

Lo Zar Kolja

Yozhik

I know that the words “easy to win” could be inappropriate with a distance of many seconds at the start XD but however what I mean was that in her career, even if she is famous for spectacular vamp, she has never been so performing in relay.
PS my nickname is a tribute to THE CZAR Popov and my favourite writer Dostoevskij so (a karamazov)….it is really Russian XD

Aswimfan
I totally agree with u.

Ger

The race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF02avjiVco

Yozhik

@Lo Zar Kolja: Nice to meet you Kolja. If to make some space between characters in my name it will look completely different.
Yo Zhi K 🙂

Yozhik

@Ger, now I understand what she meant talking about her legs in last 50.
………
During last years this lady was so many times so close to make her dream true, but each time when she gets better there is someone new who takes the win off her.

Drama in the poolh
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R7EMro1DyjU

aswimfan

Yozhik,

IIRC, after her not so good London outing, Pellegrini took time off from training and her preparation for 2013 Barcelona was limited as she focused her training on backstroke to have some nice fresh change.
So, in light of all these, her 200 free silver was very surprising Anda very nice surprise at that. I remember we were all quite shocked/surprised that she was able to win silver with such truncated training.

In 2014 ,she won Euro, the most important meet of the year for Europeans. Last year, she was able to win another silver, despite being the second oldest swimmer in the final (Heemskerk is the oldest at 28),at the Twilight of her career, and having three other swimmers swum textile PBs faster hers. So all in all, quite successful championships for her not to mention her anchoring vital to Italy’s relay silver.

I don’t know what her dream is these days, but if it’s world and Olympics titles, she has already won them all. There’s no other female 200 freestyler in history who has won more accolades and accomplishments than Pellegrini. A medal of any kind will be just icing on the cake, but if it’s not to be, she will at least remain in mu eyes the greatest female 200 freestyler of all time.

Yozhik

What I mentioned, asf was actually that it is very honorable to stay on the top for so long. But the other side of the coin is that the life doesn’t stay and always someone comes up in great form. Since Shanghai there were Schmitt with Muffat, then Franklin, then Ledecky, and now Sjostrom with McKeon are threatening Federica out of medals. Life is not fair. Pellegrini likes moving targets but as soon as she catching one there is immediately another one. And so on, and so on.

aswimfan

Yes, you are correct Yozhik, in that there has always been 1 or 2 or 3 swimmers faster than Pellegrini since 2011 Shanghai. Otherwise, It would have been depressing if the women 200 free stagnated like that (just like in men 200 free, Thorpe’s time from 15 years ago would have won Kazan easily and likely also Rio}. Women’s 200 free has progressed quite nicely in fasetest times and depth since Pellegrini and Laure opened the floodgate in Melbourne 2007.
She could very well be out of medal in Rio, considering her age and the recent state of swims by her competitors, that’s why I said a medal in Rio would be just icing on the cake for her. If the race is relatively slow like in Kazan, count on Pellegrini to give it all at the finish line.

It is admirable how Pellegrini managed to stay on top for so long when most top female 200 freestylers probably can only do it for two Olympics. (with the notable exception for the second greatest female 200 freestyler in my list -Franziska Van Almsick- who won medal in 200 free and/or 4×200 in four Olympics).
Life indeed is not fair, but I would think most folks regard Pellegrini dealt with the better cards of life.

Fabio Balena

Hi Yozhik. In that video there wasn’t drama in a negative way. She was crying of happiness. She was saying it was great to be on the podium of the 200 free once more, after a lot of people had said to her to keep doing the 400 free, where it was more easy to grab a medal rather than in 200 free, a race too fast for her.

Yozhik

Thank you Fabio for the nice correction. And for your ‘Hi’ of course 🙂

ThereaLuigi

Federica is for sure the best thing to ever happen to Italian swimming and I don’t question that, but I wanted her to swim 1.54 in Riccione for a confidence boost. Just so that she would be able to tell herself “I can swim 1:54, I have it in me”. Having said that, I still think she is in the conversation for medals in Rio and that alone is an incredibile achievement at 28

gheko

Emma McKeon should be able to take this race out in 54.9 and bring it home, with her 52.80 100m speed!

aswimfan

Gheko is a fine example of gung ho patriotic Australian, but s/he does it in jest with a tinge of sarcasm and a dose of exaggeration presented in light banter 🙂

Yozhik

Don’t get upset, Luigi. It is just numbers. I don’t see any difference between 115.01sec and 114.99sec that should make anybody suffering. It is a fingernail distance. Should Pellegrini make her beautiful nails longer and that would be it 🙂 This threshold so artificial that nothing important stands by it. What important is that after this meet everybody including Pellegrini herself consider her a real medal contender. Not because we do it traditionally paying respect to her historical achievements and longevity at 200. Not because we are pretending to be nice wishing this strong athlete and attractive woman something pleasent to happen at the end of her swimming career. But because we’ve seen at this of no real importance meet an aggressive swimming attacking personal bests at 100 and 200 distances. The fact that she got disappointed after 200 proves that she mentally already sees herself with new personal best and got angry with her body for not performing as demanded. This attitude and actually results as well are clear indication that in Rio she isn’t going to wait for leader’s failure but is ready to race them as she did it in Kazan, in Barcelona, etc. There is no common opinion how to categorise the 200m freestyle race, but everybody agree that it is all about racing. No matter how well one’s done his/her homework, at real racing everything can go in absolutely unplanned way. That is the area where Federica is exceptionally dangerous.

I consider this meet successful and promising for Pellegrini. The only thing that surprised me was this kind of teenage desire to go “all in” with very fast start. Was she decieved with her success at 100? If so then her body isn’t what she was thinking it is used to be. And to me it is a sad sign of aging. She has to learn new limits now and how to deal with them. On the other hand it is good that such thing happened now. Imagine situation when she’s swum now 1:54.7 with wisely designed splits and goes then va banque …. finishing with 1:55.3 at the most important to her meet. It is better to get disappointed now and learn more about herself than to be upset later at OG.

FabiOS

Yesterday Federica swam the italian record in the 100 free short course: 52″17. Her previous best time was the 52″56 she swam during the final of the European Championship in Netanya in Dicember, where she ended 5th.

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