Federica Pellegrini Tackles First LCM 400 Free Since 2015, Posts a 4:10

Swimming at the Campus Aquae Trophy in Pavia, Italy, over the weekend, Federica Pellegrini took to the 400 free, a race she doesn’t swim very often. She won the event in a time of 4:10.09.

Pellegrini, who still holds the 200 free world record in long course meters, became the first woman to ever break four minutes in the 400 free when she broke the WR in 2009 in Rome at the World Championships. Her mark of 3:59.15 in the 400 held until a certain Katie Ledecky came along and broke it in 2014 with a 3:58.86 (and she now holds the current mark at 3:56.46 from the 2016 Olympics).

Pellegrini’s fastest time since rubber suits were banned is a 4:01.97 from 2011. She has competed in the event a handful of times since 2011, but after 2015 (her best that year was 4:07.44), she hasn’t registered a single swim in the long course version of the event. In SCM, she did swim it as recently as 2017 (3:57.80), which was her second-best outing in SCM, ever, by just .21.

It doesn’t seem very likely that Pellegrini is going to add the 400 free to her repertoire at big meets, but it can be hard to tell with her. After handing Ledecky her first-ever individual loss in an international championship meet in the 200 free at 2017 Worlds, Pellegrini said she was done with the 200 free at a major championship. Then, she raced it at the 2018 SC Worlds, six months ago, finishing just off of the podium in 4th.

If she’s teetering away from the 200 free individually, though, it would be a surprise if the mid-distance specialist and sprinter decided to put serious focus on an event twice that distance.

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3 years ago

Much faster than same age Hosszu in Indianapolis (4:12:30). Congratulations 😀

Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

Even older.., Pellegrini was born in 1988 (so Ledecky was beaten by a 29 year-old at Worlds2017.., just to joke how you do with Hosszu), Hosszu in 1989.

Reply to  nuotofan
3 years ago

I know their dates of birth. I just wanted to underline that these ladies entered the fourth decade of their lives. Since that they are all of the same age.
I don’t know why it is a big deal that Pellegrini swam 400 by 4:10. I would be more entertained to see Sjostrom negative splitting 400 for whatever it takes.

3 years ago

Seems like a lot of the consistent performers with staying power swim longer events than their primaries in season.

Maybe it’s an indicator of drive rather than a causal factor.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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