Pellegrini Wins 4th Straight European Title In 200 Free


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Italy’s Federica Pellegrini joined an elite company this week, winning her fourth consecutive European Championships title in the 200 freestyle.

The 27-year-old Pellegrini went 1:55.93 to win the 2016 title, touching out Dutch swimmer Femke Heemskerk (1:55.97) to add to her 2010, 2012 and 2014 gold medals.

Pellegrini now becomes just the fourth woman to four-peat the same event at the European Championships.

Yana Klochkova of the Ukraine was the first, winning the 400 IM in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2004. She would also win shares of the European title in the 200 IM in the same four years – she won outright in 1999, 2002 and 2004, and tied for the gold in 2000.

Just one cycle later, Poland’s Otylia Jedrzejczak followed suit, winning the 200 fly in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu beat Pellegrini to the punch by two days, earning her fourth straight 200 IM title on Thursday.

In addition, Sweden’s Therese Alshammar has won four gold medals in the same event, but they weren’t consecutive. Alshammar took the 50 free in 2000, 2002 and 2004, then took silver in 2006 and bronze in 2008 before returning to the gold medal position in 2010.

In 2018, Sweden’s Sarah Sjöstrom could join the list in two events – the 50 fly and 100 free. Meanwhile Hosszu would have a chance to four-peat in the 400 IM as well.

The men’s side has had more runs of 4 or more straight golds:

  • Laszlo Cseh, Hungary, 200 IM – 5 straight from 2006-2014
  • Laszlo Cseh, Hungary, 400 IM – 5 straight from 2004-2012
  • Alexander Popov, Russia, 50 free – 4 straight from 1991-1997
  • Jörg Hoffmann, East Germany/Germany, 1500 free – 4 straight from 1989-1995
  • Yuri Prilukov, Russia, 1500 free – 4 straight from 2002-2008
  • Oleh Lisohor, Ukraine, 50 breast – 4 straight from 2002-2008*
  • Michael Groß, West Germany, 200 fly – 4 straight from 1981-1987

*Included a tie for the gold in 2006

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7 years ago

Yes she is the best in history. KL is virtually unbeatable right now, but Fede is the reigning queen as of A. D. 2016. I rate her silver medals at the last two WC right below the Olympic medals. She was racing much younger girls.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Federica Pellegrini is the best 200 free female swimmer ever in my opinion.

Silver medal at 2004 olympic games
Gold medal at 2008 olympic games

Silver medal at 2005 world championships
Bronze medal at 2007 world championships
Gold medal at 2009 world championships
Gold medal at 2011 world championships
Silver medal at 2013 world championships
Silver medal at 2015 world championships

Gold medal at 2010 European championships
Gold medal at 2012 European championships
Gold medal at 2014 European championships
Gold medal at 2016 European championships

She has broken twice the world record.

If Katie Ledecky wins the 200 free at 2016 and 2020 olympic games plus the 2017 and 2019 world… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Pellegrini has broken world records 10 times.
She also broke 2 WR in textile suit (200free in 2007 and 400free in 2008 in Eindhoven)
In Eindhoven she was going to win the gold in 200free but they disqualified her for a false start (but it wasn’t a false start). After winning the the 200free yesterday she told the reporter that this was supposed to be her 5th straight gold because she said they steal the one in 2008. She was really mad and after that she broke the world record in the 400free with an Arena textile suit.

7 years ago

Pellegrini is the best 200 free female swimmer.
She won a medal in the 200 free in every Olympic and World Championship for the last 12 years (except London).
On paper she is not the fastest swimmer right now but she always end up with a medal.

7 years ago

You are missing a notable 4-time European Champions.

On the men’s side PVDH won 4 in 5 Euro meets in the 200 free (’99, ’02, ’04, ’06 and silver in ’00). Tamas Darnyi won 4 in the 400 IM, but skipped 1991 Euros (his wins were ’85, ’87, ’89, ’93).

On the women’s side Yana Klochkova also won 4-straight in the 400 IM (1999-2004). She would have had 5, if not for being robbed by doper Michelle Smith in 1997. In short course titles, Klochkova won 4-consecutively in the 200 IM again (1999-02).

Reply to  Jared Anderson
7 years ago

Sorry, I should have said 200 IM. She won 4-straight in both medley events in the same years.

7 years ago

If only Sjöstrom swam… might be a different story.

Reply to  PKWater
7 years ago

or ledecky

7 years ago

If Pellegrini was a president, she’d be babraham lincoln. Schawinnnnggg!

Reply to  dude
7 years ago

Her Babylonian passport precludes her from running for president….but is she could run, she would not doubt win.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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