High Five From Federica Pellegrini With Her Fastest Textile 200 Free Win Since 2005

Federica Pellegrini celebrates her high five in the 200m freestyle a decade after her first victory in European s/c racing - images by Patrick B. Kraemer

European s/c Championships, Netanya, Israel, day 4 finals: Federica Pellegrini made it five wins since 2005 over 200m freestyle to extend her tally of podium success in international waters to 44 visits, 22 of them reaping the crown. In European short-course waters, Pellegrini now has 7 titles to her credit, from a total of 18 continental gold medals long- and short-course

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European s/c Championships, Netanya, Israel, day 4 finals: Federica Pellegrini made it five wins since 2005 over 200m freestyle to extend her tally of podium success in international waters to 44 visits, 22 of them reaping the crown. In European short-course waters, Pellegrini now has 7 titles to her credit, from a total of 18 continental gold medals long- and short-course

Comments

Yozhik

It is actually good that this 200 SCM FS race didn’t become the race of ambitions between Sjostrom, Hosszu and Pellegrini. It is not a place and not a time yet. It is too early.
Regarding Pellegrini’s August race I would not look at it as the celebration of Ledecky’s “gut and grind”. Katie’s swum a perfect race. She showed a good time that cannot be said about any other participant of this final and tactically it was well planned and executed. Everybody missed her spurt that started about 10 meters prior the last turn and after surfacing she was at full control of the race having more than body length advantage against Pellegrini. She swam as a Champion without any desperation and if to believe her coach she could swim even stronger should it be needed. Pellegrini either hasn’t seen her or missed Katie’s charging moment racing basically against Franklin only. When Federica raced Hosszu about month earlier at intermediate meet she finished at her personal best. Should she focus on Ledecky at final I am sure she will be better than 1:55.32.

Personal Best

The 200m freestyle is once again shaping up to be a tantalising affair.

If it’s true what’s said about Sjostrom, with Ledecky, Pellegrini, Franklin (or Schmitt), and improvements by McKeon and Hosszu, it’s a loaded event.

I’m not sure anyone anticipated Ledecky’s success at the World Champs… perhaps other than her coach. She probably surprised herself, let alone her competitors.

Pellegrini though continues to impress in her own right.

Yozhik

It is hard to disagree with you, PB. For many years scenery has been changing but Pelegrinni remains on the stage. With her ability to deliver and to be up to requirements of ever changing conditions of competition she can serve as example to any swimmer in your list.
The expectations of fast 200m final at last WC were mostly fed by plenty of unknown factors: if Sjostrom races or not, if Franlklin is really strong, if Ledecky is serious about this race and survives the double, if Heemskirk’s fourth ever time is a real deal etc. The situation with this race in Rio is completely different now. All statements and claims were made. All intentions and ambitions are clear. There is no more place for excuse like this meet is just another step in preparation for Olympics. This race will be the strongest and the fastest ever. And I have no doubts that Pelegrinni will be ready to meet new challenge.

aswimfan

Pellegrini keeps on proving that I did not make a bad choice when I listed her as one of 3 greatest female 200 free ever.

Craig Lord

An easy choice to make, aswimfan 🙂

Craig Lord

PB: Ledecky was tipped as a title threat that others would probably not be able to cope with by me in by previews of each event for Kazan a few months out and by John Lohn in couple of articles. You are right, however, to suggest that only coach and swimmer know what is being worked on and what the aim is – not only for Ledecky.

Craig Lord

Yozhik: “Should she focus on Ledecky at final I am sure she will be better than 1:55.32” … so will Ledecky, is what I think.

ThereaLuigi

I confirm what i always said. i) Federica is the queen of the 200 free. She already was in 2008, a silver and a gold at two consecutive Olympic Games to her credit; even the more so now, 7 years later and still winning. ii) Ledecky is the woman to beat in Rio.

Yozhik

Luigi, how far do you think Pellegrini can go under 1:55? Exactly because she is swimming 200 for so long and so well I do not expect from her any Heemskirk like jumps. She already polished her technique and I think has found the optimal tactic of swimming this distance that fits her abilities in the best way. If her brain firmly memorized already all movements inch by inch then I will not expect any changes in style and strategy that can make her better. Since she always charges from behind she is a great racer and that is where her resources are not exhausted yet. She can push herself having close moving target. But the possibility of such great performance is very conditional. It is not like in Sjostrom’s case we can expect under 1:55 result with high probability. Therefore I do not change my estimates of Pellegrini’s possible time and believe that with high probability she can be within 1:55.1 +/- 0.25 interval. It can be good enough for Olympic medal.

ThereaLuigi

Yozhik, everything experience tells us would seem to confirm your prediction. Yet in the last few years we are seeing some elite swimmers flourish in the dusk of their career. Federica changed coach and training philosophy after the London disappointments. She is now approaching the end of the Olympic macrocycle that started under this new approach. She might have an ace up her sleeve and go out with a bang. Recently (December 4 2015, actually) she re-claimed the short course 100 free national record, I think that is a good indication that she is working on her base speed. We will see 🙂

Yozhik

Luigi, I also prefer to see on Olympic podium swimmers who are not strangers to this race. Swimmers who dedicated so much to perfect at this distance and left a historical mark, the likes of Pellegrini or Schmitt. Or someone like Ledecky who made it a challenging target of her swimming career and made in two years a journey from an underdog to the Champion. I will be less excited with the win of talented “guests” to this distance, who just see the opportunity caused by generation gap (there are no young swimmers on horizon who can take up the baton). But the difference in personal bests is too impressive to ignore it. Or pace of progress is too strong not to take it under account.

ThereaLuigi

Agreed Yozhik, but take note that the 200 free has already been “hijacked” in the past by swimmers who were not even primarily freestylers (Phelps and Lochte). Also, it’s very difficult to medal twice in this event at the Olympics, and I don’t think anyone has ever taken 2 golds. What I am trying to say is that the 200 free is a very peculiar race. Next year, in Rio, a never-seen-before amount of talent will be converging towards the women version of the race: potentially, 4 individual Olympic medalist (Sjostrom, Pellegrini, Ledecky, Schmitt or Franklyn). What a sight that would be!

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