Simona Quadarella, born in Rome, at 19 years of age has confirmed, once again, to be a star of swimming during the 2018 European Championships held at the Tollcross International Swimming Center in Glasgow.
Quadarella won the first gold medal of this championship on August 4th, winning the 800 meters freestyle with the time of 8:16.35, breaking the previous Italian record set by Alessia Filippi almost ten years ago. After that victory, she commented: “I know I have all the attention on me, but I keep working with my head down and I try not to be distracted, and to stay focused.” She definitely did, and yesterday, August 7th, she dominated the 1500 meters freestyle, winning by more than 6 seconds, after dealing with an early challenge from Germany’s Sarah Koehler.
Quadarella and Koehler set the pace since the first few meters. After the first 500 meters, the race became between the two athletes, with the Kesely desperately trying to keep up with them. Halfway through the race, Quadarella’s advantage was around three tenths, and at that moment she began flying to the gold. By the 1000 meters, the advantage on Koehler was 3 seconds. The last two hundred meters have been a victory march, amid the screams of the public and the Italian supporters. Quadarella put up a time of 15:51.61, making her the second-fastest swimmer in the world this year behind Katie Ledecky and the eighth-fastest swimmer in history. Koehler was the only other swimmer to crack 16:00, finishing with the silver medal in a time of 15:57.85. While the bronze went to the Hungarian Ajna Kesely with 16:03.22.
Considering that the 1500 meters freestyle has become Olympic distance, and Tokyo is not so far away, we can be sure to hear more of this powerful athlete.
Ilona Catani Scarlett