Rome 2009, Day 3:
Women's 200m freestyle semi-finals
Federica Pellegrini (ITA) added to the headache of what to do about records when the plastic fantastic and the bodysuits are gone in 2010: Her world mark in the 200m free stood at 1:54.47. That was March. If it's July and the semi-final at world titles, it must be 1:53.67. That's faster than the first two of four world records set by Mark Spitz over the distance in the 1970s.
The splits compared:
The 1:56.47 in which Pellegrini set the world record in semis in Melbourne 2007 would have finished 6th in Rome semis. Ho hum.
She did it all in an unbranded Jaked on a day when the Italian media were called to a meeting with her manager, who delivered a stinging rebuke to the Italian team kit supplier and maker of a suit that has poured farce into the race pool this past year: Pellegrini is sponsored by Mizuno, so why did Jaked, the manager wanted to know, take out a full page advert in which the suit claimed the first sub-4-minute 400m freestyle for itself AND the swimmer. Naming the swimmer was forbidden under contractual arrangements.
So, what was good enought to advertise that 20.94sec 50 free record for an unnamed Frenchman in Jaked ads is not good enough for the hero of the nation. Jaked wantd her name but pays her nothing, said the manager.