Seven Hills, Day 2: Pellegrini doubles, the 800 freestyle is hers too
The spotlight of the Seven Hills meet, day 2, was pointed on the duel between Italian stars in the 800 freestyle. But there was no duel. Pellegrini, who already established her mark in the 400 freestyle, led the race from the first stroke, while Filippi could not do anything to upset her. The two-time world champion, author of a half-step slow because of her race, left Wendy Trott (RSA) at 200 meters from the finish, touching the wall in 8:28.40. The third place was awarded to Martina Caramignoli while an unrecognisable Alessia Filippi ended fourth.
“Honestly, I expected a better response, she felt a bit ‘it is also the challenge at home’ – said Pellegrini – my performance is in line with the period of workload but I feel that one step at a time I’m reaching expected levels. I don’t know what happened to Alessia, after a while I did not see her and I thought that something had happened.”
A yet smiling Filippi commented: “Why should I have given up the challenge? I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. During the first part of the race, I had a shoulder pain, and that got me distracted. I hope to resolve the issue for Budapest, it is only a physical problem, not a mental one. I am Alessia Filippi, I always go forward. "
In the men’s field, the comforting success of Samuel Pizzetti in 7:55.35 allows him to repulse Frederick Colbertaldo’s attack; in third place comes Andrea Busato.
Zsuzsanna Jakabos (HUN) gets a nice double on day 2 of the competition: at the beginning of the day, she wins the 200 butterfly in 2:08.80 in front of the Italians Caterina Giacchetti and Denise Riccobono and repeats her feat in the 400, finishing in 4:44.17 by leaving a safe distance between her and Stefania Pirozzi, at her season’s best, and Kathryn Meaklim (RSA).
In the men’s 200 butterfly, Chad le Clos (RSA) succeeds in 1:58.63 ahead of home favourites Vespe and Pavone.
Laszlo Cseh (HUN) makes things clear for the Europeans who will compete in his country in the 400 medley: from the first to last meters, despite being visibly out of shape, he takes out the event in 4:13.08 in front of compatriot Verraszto; the Italians fought for the third place, eventually won by Dioli. “I think already about Budapest – says the Hungarian – four years ago I was tense, under pressure, but this year I feel more calm and I just want to swim at my best, thinking only about exceling in the European arena.”
Double for Liam Tancock (GBR) in the 100 backstroke; he already scored in the middle distance, winning in 54.82 in front of Greek Grigoriadis and azzurro Damiano Lestingi, author of an excellent second race.
Absolute domination from Elizabeth Simmonds in the women’s field, delivering a perfect swim despite the huge workload accumulated, she was able to close the gap in 1:00.15. The podium was completed by Kimberly Buys (BEL) and Ingvild Snildal (NOR). “In this period where the shape is not perfect, we must enter the pool with a lot of aggressiveness, thinking only of ourselves – said the British backstroker – I did my race without looking at others and I went out very satisfied.”
Femke Heemskerk (NED) won the 100 freestyle in 54.19, catching up only in the last strokes on a unleashed Therese Alshammar (SWE), clearly in the lead halfway through the race, Francesca Halsall (GBR) completed the podium. “I knew that Alshammar had started very strongly – declared the winner – but I would have liked to repeat the same time I did at the Dutch championships last week which would have allowed me to secure victory. Now I know what I can claim at the European championships.”
In the all-Italian final of the men’s 200 freestyle, Gianluca Jersey wins in 1:48.87, preceding Italian record holder Emiliano Brembilla and rising Michele Berardi.
In the breaststroke sprint, world record holder Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA) won the men’s event in 27.82 and Kim Janssens (BEL) took the women’s event in 32.07. The men’s 50 breaststroke podium was completed by Fabio Scozzoli and Luca Residori, while in the women’s field, Martina Carraro and Chiara Boggiatto took second and third place respectively.