FINA World Championships, Swimming: Federica Pellegrini Rattles Textile Best in 200 Free Victory

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SHANGHAI, China, July 27. ITALY's Federica Pellegrini was the class of the women's 200 free at the FINA World Long Course Championships, as she nearly clipped her textile best in the event.

Pellegrini rocketed to a 1:55.58 for the victory, finishing just short of her textile best effort of 1:55.45 from last year. Pellegrini's time this evening is the 16th fastest ever in the event. With the win, Pellegrini defended her 2009 title in the event, which gives her a medal in the event in the last four championships. She took silver in 2005 and bronze in 2007.

"I'm doing my best out there," Pellegrini said. "But, my focus is really on the London Olympics."

Australia's Kylie Palmer grabbed silver with a swift 1:56.04, coming up a bit short of her 11th-ranked lifetime best of 1:55.73 from earlier this year. She is the first Australian on the women's 200 free podium since Giaan Rooney captured the world title for the Aussies in 2001.

"I am so happy, I am almost crying because it was so tough," Palmer said. "I did not know I fell so behind in the race. I did my best tonight, and am pretty excited because I've trained hard for this."

France's Camille Muffat completed the podium with a bronze-winning 1:56.10. She joins Laure Manaudou and Solenne Figues as French medal winners in this event. Manaudou (2007) and Figues (2005) claimed their respective world titles.

Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom (1:56.41), Australia's Bronte Barratt (1:56.60), USA's Allison Schmitt (1:56.98), The Netherlands' Femke Heemskerk (1:57.63) and Germany's Silke Lippok (1:58.26) finished fourth through eighth in the finale. Schmitt had been the defending silver medalist in the event.

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