Pellegrini Makes History Entering 5th Consecutive 200 Free Olympic Final


32-year-old Federica Pellegrini made history yesterday in the women’s 200m freestyle. The 32-year-old Italian qualified for her fifth consecutive career final of the event, sealing her Olympic icon status even further.

After registering a prelims time of 1:57.33, Pellegrini turned it on the following morning, posting a mark of 1:56.44. That renders her the 7th place entrant for today’s final, about a second and a half behind leader Ariarne Titmus of Australia who owns the top seed in 1:54.82.

Tracking Pellegrini’s performances, her Olympic debut at the 2004 Games in Athens at 22 reaped the silver medal, producing a time of 1:58.22 behind gold medalist Camelia Potec of Romania.

Four years later in Beijing, Pellegrini was at it again, this time wreaking havoc with a monster 1:54.82 for a new World Record and Olympic Record at the time.

Come London, the Italian fell to 5th place with a time of 1:56.73 while at the last edition of the Olympics in Rio Pellegrini posted a time of 1:55.18 to improve to 4th.

Pellegrini’s season-best headed into Tokyo sits at the 1:56.29 she scored at the European Championships. She’ll have her work cut out for her to keep up with the aforementioned Titmus, whose recent 1:53.09 nearly broke Pellegrini’s current supersuited world record of 1:52.98 from 2009.

Retired American swimmer Michael Phelps accomplished the same 5-Olympic streak in the men’s 200m butterfly but started 4 years earlier at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia.

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2 months ago

But will she be in contention for a medal?

Reply to  TheSwimCritic
2 months ago

Don’t think so unfortunately

Reply to  TheSwimCritic
2 months ago

Don’t think it matters that much at this point.

Reply to  Piotr
2 months ago

Agree. She did it during suit era, post suits….when she was old, young…..just amazing!

Gogo bibi
Reply to  TheSwimCritic
2 months ago

Lol wait and see, nobody expected her to win again in 2017 and 2019 , she can throw a gutsy final olympic swim

Last edited 2 months ago by Gogo bibi
Gogo bibi
2 months ago


Bobo Gigi
2 months ago


Bibi Gogo
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
2 months ago

A legend in the Swimswam comments commenting on a legend in the pool.

2 months ago

She is not in contention for a medal, she might have been had Tokyo happened in 2020, but we’ll never know and it is not relevant at this point. She is already a legend for having reached the final. A pretty good last bow.

2 months ago

She is amazing. She won the last 2 world Championships.
Sad the Olympics was postpone and she was sick with covid. She would have been more competivive and with a shot for medal if the meeting was last year.

Gen D
2 months ago

If Fede is 32 today… surely she wasn’t 22 in 2004?

Reply to  Gen D
2 months ago

33 next week, she was 16 in 2004

2 months ago

My original point was addressed later here, but there’s no delete button.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dan
2 months ago

She will never retire. If not a contender for medals, then another final. If not a finalist then another Olympics. Etc, etc, etc…
Will we see her in Paris in three years? Sure, why not. Unless Italia produces finally a strong 200FR female swimmer. It’s long due.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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