3. Federica Pellegrini
Federica Pellegrini was born on 5 August 1988. She is an Italian swimmer. A native of Mirano, in the province of Venice, she used to hold the women’s 200 m freestyle (long course and short course) and 400 m (long course) freestyle world record, but finished fifth in both events at the London 2012 Olympics. At the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Pellegrini became the first woman ever to breach the 4 minute barrier in 400 m freestyle with the time 3:59.15. Pellegrini is the first female Olympic champion in the history of Italian swimming; she is also the only Italian swimmer to have set world records in more than one event.
Pellegrini’s first international podium was at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, where she won the silver medal in the 200 m freestyle at the age of 16, becoming the youngest Italian athlete ever to win an Olympic medal in an individual event.
Pellegrini’s first long course gold medal came at the 2008 European Championships in Eindhoven, where she won the 400 m freestyle setting a world record (4:01.53).
At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, she arrived as the world-record holder and favourite for the gold medal in the 400 m freestyle, but only finished 5th in the final. On the same day, she recovered from that disappointment by setting a world record in the heats of the 200 m freestyle; in the final, she broke her own world record (1:54.82) and won her first Olympic gold medal.
Pellegrini also proved her strength in short course events at the 2008 European SC Championships in Rijeka when she won the gold medal in the 200 m freestyle at a world-record pace (1:51.85). At the 2009 Mediterranean Games in Pescara, Pellegrini broke the world record in the 400 m freestyle with a time of 4:00.41 to better Joanne Jackson’s record of 4:00.66.
At the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Pellegrini broke the world record again in the 400 m freestyle with a time of 3:59.15, winning the gold medal and in doing so becoming the first female swimmer to break the 4 minute barrier in the event. In 2010 Pellegrini announced that she would be working with Laure Manadou’s former coach, Philippe Lucas.
After a very successful 2011 World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai, Federica parted ways with her French coach and began working with Federico Bonifacenti.
May 2012 saw her surprisingly excluded from the final of the 400 meters freestyle at the 2012 European Aquatics Championships, after winning two gold medals in other events (200 metre freestyle and 4×200 m freestyle relay) and a bronze medal in 4×100 freestyle relay).
At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Pellegrini failed to medal in any of her individual events, finishing fifth in the 400 meters freestyle (4:04.50) and the 200 meters freestyle (1:56.73).
Since August, 2011, she has been in a relationship with fellow swimmer, Filippo Magnini, having previously been engaged to another teammate, Luca Marin.
She currently holds 3 world records (WR), 3 European records (ER) and 10 National records (NR).
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