Fifth consecutive Olympic final in the 200 freestyle for Federica Pellegrini who thus already sets a record because only Phelps has done the same, in the 200 butterfly: “He won it though”. While Fede declares that this was the goal, “I’m honest, the medals department is closed. I always try but I’m also a realist”.
There are tears out of the water, not a cry, a moment to let the emotion slip and get rid of the anxiety of having made so much effort to then get to the last Olympics and watch it from afar and instead no. Pellegrini starts from lane number 8, the blind one and uses experience to dose the race in the dark, then he releases the power he has and closes in 1’56 ”44. Enough to take a piece of history. “I’m really happy, let’s not fool ourselves too much, this was the goal with the Olympics moved by one year and my body asking me for the return minutes with the interests. This is the last one, that’s enough. Paris 2024? I don’t even think about it, already to get this far it took a motivated staff behind to push ”. A support group that goes from the technician (and much more) Matteo Giunta to the house dogs “an integral part”.
The qualification taken from fifteenth had removed all points of reference: “I did not spare myself, I really made a mistake, I was under pace and I was no longer able to get out, but I am overjoyed with what I did today. I learned to set myself attainable goals ”.
The 200 with which Pellegrini will greet the Games he assigns to the Australian Titmus and warns: “I am rooting for the red line though”. It is that of the record that is still his: 1’52 ”98 he did at the 2009 World Cup, in Rome and he would really like to leave Tokyo without having seen it fall.