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Pellegrini Skips 400 Free & Turns Over

Apr 9, 2013  - Craig Lord

World champion and record holder Federica Pellegrini scratched from the 400m freestyle at Italian Nationals in Riccione this morning, her focus on the 100m backstroke, in which she clocked 1:01.76 to qualify second for the final a touch behind Arianna Berbieri's 1:01.35.

Over at French nationals in Rennes, Olympic 400m free champion Camille Muffat is poised to take on her most successful event of 2012. In heats she set out in pursuit of a place on the French team for world titles in Barcelona this summer with a 4:08.81, training partner in Nice, Lotte Friis (DEN) next through in 4:11.26.

The 400m free for men went without Yannick Agnel, the Olympic 200m free champion from Nice having decided earlier in the year that his 2013 focus would be 100m and 200m.

If joint world champions of 2011 Jeremy Stravius and Camille Lacourt were the top two and only two inside 56sec in heats of the 100m backstroke in Rennes, in Riccione, they would have been the only two Frenchmen in the Italian final, the top 10 men home in heats between 18-year-old Fabio Laugeni's 55.39 and 16-year-old Simone Sabbioni's 56.07.

The wave of speed in Riccione spilled over into the 100m freestyle for men, the two Lucas Dotto and Leonardi leading the way in 49.22 each, Marco Orsi on 49.52, Filippo Magnini on 50 flat in 6th, 8th home a 50.25, with two men on 50.31 and 22 men inside 51sec.