Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Fabulous Federica back in style with silver win

English
© ANSA

(by Kate Carlisle)
Rome, August 1 - Federica Pellegrini returned to
Italy's front pages with her surprise silver-medal win Wednesday
in the 200m freestyle at the World Swimming Championships in
Barcelona.
Heralded as "marvellous Federica" by Italy's leading sports
paper, Gazzetta dello Sport, Pellegrini proved she has what it
takes when she stepped out of a 12-month sabbatical that she
began after doing poorly at the 2012 London Olympics to take
second with just 33 centimeters difference from the lead.
She had not planned to defend her 200m world title that she
won in 2009 and 2011.
Instead, she had only intended to compete in the 200m
backstroke and some relay events before returning to her full
training regime and her individual freestyle races after the
world championships.
She stuck to her plan not to compete in the 400m freestyle,
a crown she also held after winning at the distance in the last
two championships.
Pellegrini, who won gold in the 200m freestyle at the 2008
Beijing Olympics, told Gazzetta that before the race she was
calm.
"My trainer (Phillippe Lucas) told me to think of nothing.
Think that you are on your way to get married," she said.
Sports psychologist Giuseppe Vercelli told Gazzetta that
the key to her stunning win could be partially thanks to her
relaxed approach and last-minute entry into the competition.
"When you don't have expectations, you have the chance to
concentrate more on the the athletic moves and this impacts the
effectiveness of the performance," Vercelli said.
I have a great, great, great daughter," her mother Cinzia
enthused after the competition.
"When she is without worries, she manages to give 100% of
herself...this competition is her love," she said.
Most certainly, Pellegrini's silver has refreshed Italian's
endearment for the broad smiled, blond swimmer from the northern
region of Veneto.
"Fede forever, no doubts," gushed Gazzetta.
Fede, short for Federica, also means faith in Italian.
Without Pellegrini's silver, Italy was in danger of going
home without a medal in pool events at the world championships
first time since 1978.
"I am overjoyed," said Pellegrini, 24, who came in at
1:55:14.
The gold was won by American Missy Franklin, with a time of
1:54.81.
The bronze went to Camille Muffat of France in 1:55.72.
"I'm glad, I honestly did not even think I would be able to
take a medal, it's really unexpected".
On Wednesday, Pellegrini sounded philosophical about last
year's Olympic losses.
"The defeats make you grow," she told Italian State
broadcaster RAI.
"And in 10 years, I had many..."
After her victory Pellegrini said that she dedicated the
victory to herself.
"After all that passed less than a year ago, I will
dedicate (this victory) to me," she said.
Pellegrini helped the Italian team win a place in the
finals for the 4x200m freestyle relay on Thursday.

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