Pellegrini Wins Second Backstroke Race at Italian Championships (Day 3)

Day three, out of five, at the 2013 Italian Spring National Championships (and their World Championship trials) saw Federica Pellegrini further declare her shift in focus for 2013.

On the first day of this meet, she won the 100 backstroke; on the third day, she added to that a title in the 200 backstroke in 2:08.05. Swimming this race very much how she always swam her 200 free, with a very strong back half, that swim left her just .02 seconds away from Alessia Filippi’s National Record. That was a record set in 2009, when Filippi was swimming almost as well as anyone in the world in her overall schedule.

Pellegrini’s other swim on the day was an anchor on her Circlo Canottieri Aniene 800 free relay, where she split only 2:04 as the team took second. Though she may not have the same middle-distance prowess as she once did now that she’s spending more time on backstroke, we’ll chalk that one up to minimized effort with a focus on individual swimming at this meet.

Most of the big swims on Thursday came from the women’s side of the pool. Ilaria Bianchi was a 58.14 to win the 100 fly, followed by Elena di Liddo in 59.97. For Bianchi, that’s not as fast as she was last year at the Olympics, but overall she continues to have a much better meet than Italy’s other breakout star from last year, sprint backstroker Arianna Barbieri.

The best event on the men’s side was the 400 free where their great distance group came down well. Samuel Pizzetti won the race in 3:48.44, holding off Gabriele Detti who was 3:48.51. Detti split 26.6 on his last 50 meters, more than a second better than Pizzetti, but need one-or-two more meters to finish making up the gap. At only 18 years old, though, Detti’s future is bright.

Another young swimmer, 17-year old Andrea Mitchell D’Arrigo, was 3rd in 3:50.47, and 19-year old Gregorio Paltrinieri was 4th in 3:51.82. That swim for Paltrinieri wasn’t as good as his winning mark in the 800 from earlier in the meet, but it was still the second-best swim of his career and keeps him on line for something under 14:50 in his best event, the 1500, on Saturday.

Other winners included Piero Codia in the men’s 50 fly with a 23.72, followed by Matteo Rivolta (winner of the 100) in 23.81. They were both just two-tenths shy of the National Record in the race.

Stefania Pirozzi won the women’s 400 IM in 4:39.79.That’s a lifetime best for her, and six seconds better than she was in a dismal 2012 season for her. She’s been Italy’s best 400 IM’er since 2009, when she was just 16 years old, and is now entering her prime at barely 19 years old with quite a bang.

Full Day 3 results (PDF) available here.
Full live meet results available here.

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bobo gigi
9 years ago

I have to say that the OVERALL level of these Italian championships is much better than in France. They have many young promising talents. Less stars in Italy but there are fewer bad races and bad times. But at the end it’s the medal table which counts and France will destroy Italy in Barcelona thanks to 3 or 4 swimmers.
The Italian men’s medley relay begins to be interesting with results from these week.
Backstroke. Matteo Milli in 54.73
Breaststroke. Fabio Scozzoli in 59.77
Butterfly. Matteo Rivolta in 51.70
Freestyle. Luca Dotto in 48.46
Of course their backstroke is too weak to play the medals next summer. But it’s a relay to watch in the future.

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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