In tonight’s women’s 100 freestyle final Italian Federica Pellegrini turned at the 50 meter mark in eighth place, but had a strong second half of the race eventually finishing fifth. Pellegrini posted a 52.56 breaking the Italian record of 52.58 set by Erika Ferraioli in November.
Ferraioli, who finished sixth in tonight’s final, took the race out 37 one-hundredths of a second faster than Pellegrini, but was over a half second slower in the final 50 meters finishing in a time of 52.71.
Italian record splits:
- Ferraioli (November) – 25.23/27.35 – 52.58
- Pellegrini (Netanya) – 25.68/26.88 – 52.56
It has been interesting to watch Pellegrini throughout the years. From 2007-2009 she broke the long course world record in the 200 freestyle six times and the short course 200 freestyle twice along with winning the Olympic gold in 2008. She was one of the athletes that was able carry that success into the post “shiny suit era” winning the 200 freestyle 2010 European Championships and the 2011 World Championships only to fall short of the podium at the 2012 Olympics finishing fifth.
Although she collected gold at the 2013 European Short Course Championships and 2014 European Championship as well as silver at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships in the 200 freestyle, since the Olympics Pellegrini has looked for ways to reinvent herself. She first toyed with the idea of focusing backstroke events and today’s 100 freestyle is another unusual event for her to race at a major international competition considering she has only swum the event four times since 2010.