17-Year Old Deflina Pignatiello Breaks S. American Record in 800 Free


Traditionally, South American swimming has been more sprint-focused. There have been a few exceptions throughout history, but the distance races have long lagged behind the sprints in international standing.

That tide has been turning in the last 24 months, which was punctuated on Thursday at the World Junior Championships in Indianapolis. There, Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello, who just turned 17 on April 19th, broke the World Junior Championships meet record, the Argentina National Record, and the South American Continental Record in the women’s 800 free with an 8:25.22. That put her more than 5 seconds faster than silver-medalist Anja Kesely, who took 2nd in 8:30.62.

Pignatiello broke the Argentine record in the 400 free earlier this year in 4:09.97, and very nearly got that mark again with her halfway split on Thursday of 4:10.54. She’ll swim the 400 on Saturday.

The old South American record was held by Venezuela’s Andreina Pinto in 8:25.93. The old Argentine record was an 8:29.86 done by Delfina at Argentina’s National Championships in May.

Pignatiello was born in the year 2000, and as far as we can tell is the 4th-best swimmer born in the 2000s in the race.

  1. Bingjie Li, China, 8:15.46 (World Junior Record)
  2. Arianne Titmus, Australia, 8:23.08
  3. Delfina Pignatiello, Argentina, 8:25.22

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3 years ago

I read somewhere Bill Sweetenham was doing some work in Argentina . This looks like something he could foster .

Id be happy to be corrected – just a guess.

Raul Araya
Reply to  G.I.N.A
3 years ago

I’m team manager of Argentinar and yes you are right he has been helping us for the last couple of years and we are proud to share this with him.however lots of credits for her and coach gallego Martín,and old hound dog that can still bark so well!.he had left coaching for 10 years and returned later to work with some young ones including Delfi.!

3 years ago

Interesting graphic on the masthead.

3 years ago

South American females have always done better at the world level in distance races. Before the Brazilian 50 backstroker, the best performances at world and Olympic level were by Pinto (400/800 free), Kristel Kobrich (800/1500 free), and Georgina Bardach (400 IM).

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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