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Swimming superstars set challenge for Universiade competitors

26 May 2019

Federica Pellegrini and Luca Dotto wish Universiade athletes all the best


NAPLES – Italian swimming superstar Federica Pellegrini won gold on the first day of the Naples Grand Prix, taking place in the at the Caserta Swimming Stadium that will host the water polo tournament of Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade. The200m freestyle world record holder fondly recalled her Universiade experience and said the Universiade held a special place in her heart.  


“I participated in the Universiade in 2007 in Bangkok,” she said, smiling. Pellegrini had won two gold and a silver in Bangkok.“It was a wonderful experience. It is a bit different from other events and over the years it is growing more and more.”


Pellegrini added that the Summer Universiade 2019 represents a great opportunity for Italian sport. “The importance of such a large sporting event brought to Italy is relevant for the whole territory, for new generations,” she said. Nicknamed ‘the divine’ in Italy, the celebrated swimmer also shad a message for the Universiade athletes, especially the Italian ones.


“I wish all the best to the athletes who participate. It is an important event and above all because this year it’s at home, I hope you assert yourself and don’t make me look bad!”


Pellegrini was joined in Caserta by another renowned Italian swimmer, Luca Dotto. In a career spanning 15 years, he has won five world titles, 15 European titles and two Olympic medals. Most recently, the 2016 European 100 freestyle champion said, “Enthusiasm for this event is skyrocketing and I really hope that as many people as possible can participate and see the great competitions that will be held in these facilities.”


“Good luck to the athletes. The important thing is to give your maximum and to have fun. Make many friends and new acquaintances, as this is what the Universiade is about. Good luck also to the city of Naples.”