The Italian Almanac

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Federica Pellegrini

Moving to Paris

Federica Pellegrini is going to move to Paris to train under Frenchman Philippe Lucas, the former coach of her old arch rival Laure Manaudou, Italy's Olympic and world swimming champion has said.

''Lucas had a very positive meeting with Italian Swimming Federation officials in Paris,'' said the 22-year-old freestyle specialist, who parted company with Stefano Morini after performing badly at last month's short-course world championships in Dubai. ''They looked at my programme up until (July's long-course) world championships in Shanghai and there were no problems. ''We have already started looking for a house in Paris''.

Pellegrini, who became the first woman to break the four-minute barrier in winning the 400 freestyle event at the 2009 world championships in Rome, recently suffered a recurrence of an anxiety problem that hampered her preparations for Dubai. Italy's golden girl, who is also Olympic and world champion in the 200m freestyle, had been trained by Morini after the sudden death in 2009 of Alberto Castagnetti, who was also the Italian national team's coach.

She said she had been supported in her decision to move to Paris by her boyfriend, Italian medley swimmer Luca Marin, now-retired Manaudou's ex. So by linking up with Lucas, Pellegrini has now taken over Manaudou's old coach, her old boyfriend and her 200m and 400m freestyle world titles.