2018 SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
One of the biggest will-she, won’t-she stories of the 2018 Short Course World Championships has been that of Italian star Federica Pellegrini and whether or not she would swim the 200 free. One more vote in favor of ‘yes’ came with Sunday’s release of the official Start Lists for the meet, which see Pellegrini entered, as the top seed, in the event. That, along with a 6th seed in the 100 free, are her only two individual entries at the meet (though she’ll likely swim at least two relays: the 400 and 800 free).
Pellegrini is the 2nd-fastest 200 SCM freestyler in history with a 1:51.17 from the 2009 European Short Course Championships – behind only Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom (who isn’t racing at this meet). Pellegrini wasn’t far from that time as recently as 2017 where she swam a 1:51.63 at the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup Series. Her best time in 2018 is a 1:54.30 done a month ago.
Pellegrini is the World Record holder in the 200 free in long course and the defending World Champion in both long course and short course. After winning the 2017 long course title, she announced that she was ‘retiring’ from the 200 free. At least in short course, however, she’s waned on that commitment, having previously pledged to swim the race at the now-cancelled Energy for Swim event.