Ex-Olympic champion Pellegrini targets fifth Games at Tokyo 2020

Federica Pellegrini is targetting a fifth Olympics at Tokyo 2020. (AFP pic)

MILAN: Former Olympic swimming champion Federica Pellegrini confirmed on Saturday that she will continue competing until the Tokyo 2020 which will be the Italian star’s fifth Summer Games.

Pellegrini, 30, won 200m freestyle gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is the world record holder over the distance.

She also won silver in the 200m freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The five-time world champion had been considering retiring this season, but she told Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport: “The decision is made. It’s what I wanted, I didn’t want to stop like that.”

Pellegrini, the first woman to break the four-minute barrier in the 400m freestyle at the 2009 world championships in Rome, has been focusing on the 100m freestyle since 2017.

But she said she has not decided which event she will target in Tokyo.

“I can say that I’m not giving up on the speed project. After the 2019 world championships, we’ll draw the first conclusions.”

Pellegrini, who carried the Italian flag at the 2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony, had said she was considering her future after missing out on a podium finish at the past two Olympics.