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Pellegrini Goes 1:59.23 for 200 Free, Setting Her Third National Record at Italian Nationals as Meet Ends on a Fast Note -- March 14, 2004

LIVORNO, Italy, March 14. THE Lioness of Verona roared again this evening on the final day of the Italian Winter Championships and the result was her third national record in three tries.

Fifteen year-old Federica Pellegrini, dubbed the "lioness of Verona" for her fascination with the King of the Jungle, already had set national records in the 50 (25.47) and 100 frees (54.40) before moving onto the 200 free. All she did here was swim a very fast 1:59.23, No. 4 globally behind Britain's Mel Marshall's 1;58.51, America's Lindsay Benko's 1:58.62 from the US Nationals in Orlando last month and Australia's lka Graham's 1:58.94 also from last month.

Pellegrini's time would have ranked her eighth globally last year and her 100 time would have ranked her second to Finland's Hanna Seppala's 54.37 from the World Championships. The Italian's 54.40 makes her the tenth-fastest performer all-time.

Not bad for a girl who did not rank last year among the Top 200 performers globally in ANY event last year, with her then best times of 26.7, 57.0 and 2:02+.)

Perhaps the only comparable woman sprinter to be so fast so young is America's Cynthia Woodhead, who, as a 14-year-old in 1979, set American records in the 100-200 frees (55.63-1:58.23) at the inaugural FINA Cup competition in the Tokyo Olympic Pool early that September. Woodhead's 200 was also a world record. She likely would have been the first woman under 1:58.0 had she not been robbed of the opportunity to compete at the next year's Olympic by the US-led boycott of the Moscow Games

Woodhead also was a great 400-800 freestyler, with prs of 4:07.15-8:29.35, both from the Berlin World Championships in '78. Both swims earned her silvers behind Australia's Tracey Wickham's then world records of 4:06.28-8:24.62. Woodhead, who even earlier in her career set an American record in the 1650-yard freestyle, swam at the Los Angeles Olympics and won a silver in the 200 free behind teammate Mary Wayte. They also both scored golds in the 800 free relay. Woodhead swam collegiately at USC under then coach Don LaMont and was an All-America and NCAA champ for the Women of Troy.

After setting her current wr in the 200 free, Franziska Van Almsick, another precocious 14 year-old at the 1992 Olympics, afterwards vacillated between remaining active through Athens or hanging up her suit. She has opted for the former in hopes of obtaining the one honor that has eluded her throughout her illustrious career, i.e., an individual Olympic gold.

She's training with a passion now for Athens after having taken last season off. She was runner-up to Costa Rica's Claudia Poll at the Atlanta Olympics and finished out of the money at Sydney. As a 16 year-old a decade ago, she set a world record en route to the gold at the Rome World Championships but didn't win again until she broke that standard with her current 1:56.64 at Berlin.

Pellegrini also anchored a pair of her DDSA club's s three relays splitting 54.39 anchoring the medley; 2:00.07 anchoring the 800 free and 54.36 on the third leg of the 400 free.

Pellegrini is almost a decade younger than most of her competitors save Seppala, and while it may be premature at this point to think in terms of Olympic medals, a good case can be made for her finaling in the three sprint races (50-100-200 frees). A better indication of how "real" she is will be her showing at the European Championships in two months.

Another distaff record-setter was Chiara Boggiatto, who went a 2:28.60 in the 200 breast. Earlier she set a NR in the 100 (1:09.32).

* * * * *

In the men's 100 free, 22-year-old Filippo Magnini, who set a national-record in the semis with his 49.12, lowered it to 49.09 -- still No. 2 globally to the USA's Michael Phelps' 49.05 from Orlando. He was trailed by Christian Galenda(49.62).

In the 200 IM, Nicola Febraro went a pr 2:02.78 for the win, followed by Simone Canlazino (pr 2:02.90), and Leonardo Tumotto (pr 2:03.54). Vani Mangini (2:03.55) was fourth. Francesca Segat won the 100 fly (1:00.13 with a seasonal-best 59.90 in the semis) and was second in the 200 to Paola Cavallino (2:10.62 - 2:10.72). Segat holds the Italian records with her 59.56/2:09.49 -- the latter from the finals of the World Championships last year.

Two star Italians, both World Champions three years ago, did not swim here. They are Olympic 200 IM silver medalist Massi Rosolino, who is training in Australia; and Fukuoka 400 IM champ Alessio Boggiatto, Chiara's older brother.

Italy's men were the surprise of Sydney and even though double Olympic gold-medalist breaststroker Domenico Fioravanti is apparently out for Athens due to illness, this nation of fast cars and fast swimmers has a strong team in most events save the backstrokes and the butterflys. Freestyler Emiliano Brembilla, who, similar to South Africa's Ryk Neethling, has bailed on the distance races in favor of the 200-400 frees, is one of the premier middle-distance frestylers in the world. Rosolino is Rosolino and Boggiatto is no slouch either.

Sprinters Magnini and Lorenzo Vismara are both world-class and Davide Rommulo can take up the mantle for Fioravanti as he was silver medalist in the 100-200 breast at Sydney. Throw the "Lioness of Verona" into the mix and Italy will have a very competitive team for Madrid (European Championships) and Athens.


2004 ITALIAN WINTER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Livorno, Italy
Mar 10 - 14, 2004

50 meter pool

RESULTS


* = Italian record



WOMEN

50 METRES FREESTYLE
1 25.47* Pellegrini Federica,88,ITA
2 25.50 Chiuso Cristina,73,ITA
3 25.92 Vianini Cecilia,76,ITA

100 METRES FREESTYLE
1 54.75 Pellegrini Federica,88,ITA
(54.40*sf)
2 56.04 Vianini Cecilia,76,ITA
3 56.75 Chiuso Cristina,73,ITA

200 METRES FREESTYLE
1 1:59.23*Pellegrini Federica,88,ITA
2 2:01.46 Ricciardi Simona,80,ITA
3 2:01.96 Pagliarini Silvia,86,ITA

400 METRES FREESTYLE
1 4:14.24 Rigamonti Flavia,81,SUI
2 4:14.44 Pasini Elisa,81,ITA
3 4:16.16 Ricciardi Simona,80,ITA

800 METRES FREESTYLE
1 8:39.23 Rigamonti Flavia,81,SUI
2 8:40.66 Pasini Elisa,81,ITA
3 8:43.25 Ricciardi Simona,80,ITA

1500 METRES FREESTYLE
1 16:18.97 Rigamonti Flavia,81,SUI
2 16:44.68 Pasini Elisa,81,ITA
3 17:00.91 Vitale Federica,83,ITA

50 METRES BACKSTROKE
1 29.39 Cappa Alessandra,82,ITA
2 29.63 Gemo Elena,87,ITA
3 29.74 Regli Alessia,84,ITA

100 METRES BACKSTROKE
1 1:02.12 Cappa Alessandra,82,ITA
(1:01.94*sf)
2 1:03.87 Regli Alessia,84,ITA
3 1:04.34 Ioppi Roberta,85,ITA

200 METRES BACKSTROKE
1 2:14.38 Ioppi Roberta,85,ITA
2 2:15.39 Regli Alessia,84,ITA
3 2:15.46 Filippi Alessia,88,ITA

50 METRES BREASTSTROKE
1 32.42 Boggiatto Chiara,86,ITA
2 32.73 Demozzi Veronica,87,ITA
3 32.93 Rossi Silvia,88,ITA

100 METRES BREASTSTROKE
1 1:09.35 Boggiatto Chiara,86,ITA
(1:09.32*sf)
2 1:10.45 Demozzi Veronica,87,ITA
3 1:10.71 Farina Sara,78,ITA

200 METRES BREASTSTROKE
1 2:28.60*Boggiatto Chiara,86,ITA
2 2:30.11 Farina Sara,78,ITA
3 2:30.94 Giovannoni Sara,83,ITA

50 METRES BUTTERFLY
1 26.99* Maccagnola Cristina,85,ITA
2 27.41 Gemo Elena,87,ITA
3 27.87 Segat Francesca,83,ITA

100 METRES BUTTERFLY
1 1:00.13 Segat Francesca,83,ITA
2 1:00.32 Gemo Elena,87,ITA
3 1:00.49 Migliori Ambra,84,ITA

200 METRES BUTTERFLY
1 2:10.62 Cavallino Paola,77,ITA
2 2:10.72 Segat Francesca,83,ITA
3 2:13.02 Giacchetti Caterina,88,ITA

200 METRES IND.MEDLEY
1 2:17.64 Filippi Alessia,88,ITA
2 2:17.81 Parise Sara,82,ITA
3 2:20.58 Massari Veronica,80,ITA

400 METRES IND.MEDLEY
1 4:47.61 Filippi Alessia,88,ITA
2 4:50.52 Massari Veronica,80,ITA
3 4:51.85 Segat Francesca,83,ITA

4X100 MEDLEY RELAY
1 4:13.12 DDS Milano,ITA
2 4:15.09 Sisport Fiat,ITA
3 4:17.65 Aniene,ITA

4X100 FREE RELAY
1 3:46.38*DDS Milano,ITA
2 3:53.13 Aurelia Nuoto,ITA
3 3:53.44 Team Veneto,ITA

4X200 FREE RELAY
1 8:12.11*DDS Milano,ITA
2 8:21.34 Team Veneto,ITA
3 8:27.79 Aurelia Nuoto,ITA


MEN

50 METRES FREESTYLE
1 22.35 Vismara Lorenzo,75,ITA
2 22.54 Scarica Michele,82,ITA
3 22.84 Calvi Alessandro,83,ITA

100 METRES FREESTYLE
1 49.09* Magnini Filippo,82,ITA
2 49.62 Galenda Christian,82,ITA
3 50.30 Cercato Simone,75,ITA

200 METRES FREESTYLE
1 1:47.20 Magnini Filippo,82,ITA
2 1:48.70 Brembilla Emiliano,78,ITA
3 1:48.88 Beccari Andrea,78,ITA

400 METRES FREESTYLE
1 3:52.93 Brembilla Emiliano,78,ITA
2 3:53.24 Cappellazzo Federico,80,ITA
3 3:56.52 Cleri Valerio,81,ITA

800 METRES FREESTYLE
1 8:04.60 Cleri Valerio,81,ITA
2 8:05.71 Ercoli Simone,79,ITA
3 8:06.83 Formentini Marco,70,ITA

1500 METRES FREESTYLE
1 15:20.89 Ercoli Simone,79,ITA
2 15:21.46 Minotti Christian,80,ITA
3 15:25.11 Formentini Marco,70,ITA

50 METRES BACKSTROKE
1 26.55 Merisi Emanuele,72,ITA
2 26.59 Dell'Andrea Nicolo,78,ITA
3 26.71 Ruscio Andrea,84,ITA

100 METRES BACKSTROKE
1 55.95 Laera Luis A.,71,ITA
2 56.03 Merisi Emanuele,72,ITA
3 57.05 Dell'Andrea Nicolo,78,ITA

200 METRES BACKSTROKE
1 2:00.17 Merisi Emanuele,72,ITA
2 2:00.39 Mazzari Mirko,75,ITA
3 2:01.43 Marin Luca,85,ITA

50 METRES BREASTSTROKE
1 28.44 Terrin Alessandro,85,ITA
2 28.95 Bartoli Riccardo,84,ITA
3 28.96 Capone Maurizio,80,ITA

100 METRES BREASTSTROKE
1 1:02.36 Facci Loris,83,ITA
2 1:02.50 Bossini Paolo,85,ITA
3 1:02.53 Vancini Michele,81,ITA

200 METRES BREASTSTROKE
1 2:13.17 Bossini Paolo,85,ITA
2 2:13.41 Facci Loris,83,ITA
3 2:14.47 Rummolo Davide,77,ITA

50 METRES BUTTERFLY
1 24.46* Nalesso Mattia,81,ITA
2 25.00 Goldin Rudy,84,ITA
3 25.16 Benatti Lorenzo,83,ITA

100 METRES BUTTERFLY
1 53.54 Nalesso Mattia,81,ITA
2 54.79 Benatti Lorenzo,83,ITA
3 54.86 Ciancarini Simone,79,ITA

200 METRES BUTTERFLY
1 1:58.98 Villa Paolo,81,ITA
2 1:59.87 Oriana Andrea,73,ITA
3 2:01.18 Vespe Francesco,83,ITA

200 METRES IND.MEDLEY
1 2:02.78 Febbraro Nicola,81,ITA
2 2:02.90 Ciancarini Simone,79,ITA
3 2:03.54 Tumiotto Leonardo,83,ITA

400 METRES IND.MEDLEY
1 4:16.34 Marin Luca,85,ITA
2 4:19.95 Mangoni Vanni,85,ITA
3 4:23.80 Cleri Valerio,81,ITA

4X100 MEDLEY RELAY
1 3:42.54*Carabinieri,ITA
2 3:45.26 Aniene,ITA
3 3:45.54 DDS Milano,ITA

4X100 FREE RELAY
1 3:23.34 DDS Milano,ITA
2 3:23.92 Riviera Nuoto Veneto,ITA
3 3:25.01 Carabinieri,ITA

4X200 FREE RELAY
1 7:22.07*DDS Milano,ITA
2 7:27.04 Carabinieri,ITA
3 7:27.40 Aniene,ITA