Bad debut for Delfina Pignatiello at the Olympic Games: her explanation after finishing eighth in the series

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It was not the expected debut for Delfina Pignatiello at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Argentine swimmer finished eighth in her 1,500-meter heat, far from her best times, and was left out of the final. Now, he must seek to join forces and compete in the 800-meter test.

“It was my first international high-level race, after a long time. Many emotions, the days before, many emotions that I had never felt. Nerves did not play me on my side. I keep the effort I made in preparation. Seeing how all the rivals could return to training, I am left with what the quarantine taught me. Today’s result is not what I expected, nor what I wanted. It is a very tough sport. Now I have to change my head because I have 800 left. I matured, I grew up. If it was not given today, it will be another day. It was not given to me, only that ”, he said. Delfina Pignatiello as soon as it came out of the water.

The young woman from San Isidro hung two silver medals at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games, in 400 meters and 800 freestyle. His great emergence occurred at the Pan American Games in Lima 2019, when he hung three gold medals (400, 800 and 1500 meters free). For her great performance, she was awarded the honor of being a standard-bearer at the closing of the event.

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1. Kathleen Ledecky, United States, 15:35.35.

2. Wang Jianjiahe, China, 15:41.49.

3. Sarah Kohler, Germany, 15:52.67.

4. Kiah Melverton, Australia, 15:58.96.

5. Ajna Kesely, Hungary, 15: 59.80.

6. Kristel Kobrich, Chile, 16: 09.09.

7. Mireia Belmonte, Spain, 16: 11.68.

8. Delfina Pignatiello, Argentina, 16: 33.69.

Pignatiello will face on Thursday 29 the 800 meters, his specialty, to try to reach the final.

A difficult road to Tokyo

With more than 625,000 followers on Instagram and also very active on Twitter, Twitch and with a YouTube channel where she made a series of videos under the hashtag #CaminoATokio, the 21-year-old, triple Pan-American champion in Lima 2019, shared her day with day with his followers, more and more numerous, in the previous one.

The Tokyo Games represent an unforgettable moment in his sports career, a dream come true and one that he saw seriously jeopardized in 2020, when the covid-19 pandemic halted his preparation. He spent more than three months without training and along with other athletes he joined, admitting his low spirits and even came to consider continuing with the sport of high competition. “He did not rule out stopping swimming,” he went on to say. Y Today, when he left the pool after the bad debut, he mentioned what the pandemic was.

During confinement, he shared training routines on social networks. But he had a difficult time when he found that one of his ‘live’ had generated nasty comments, which hurt him. ”I received a lot of offensive comments live today. There were also live comments sexualizing me and I don’t deserve it. I couldn’t block them at the time because I was training, “he explained then in a message on Instagram.

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”Banking jokes and hate on social media is one thing, but sexualization must be stopped. There is a limit, ”he pointed out on Twitter. His public denunciation generated a stir, and his firmness against harassment on social media was generally applauded.

The preview of Pignatiello’s debut

“What happened at the beginning of the pandemic affected me a lot. Athletes start very late, especially in swimming, we have a week or two of vacations a year. At one point we went almost four months without swimming, in my life it had happened to me, I had never been more than a month out of the water and at that moment they took me out of the water, they took me out of my place ”, he had declared in an interview with Double merit.

There he also told that he saw the possibility of reaching the Olympic Games very far: “I had the intention of getting off the Olympics. At the beginning it was looking for some type of strategy to be able to communicate what was happening to us, we saw that the rivals of the other countries were training and we did not. When I had to go out to speak it was because there came a point where I said ‘well, enough’ “.

Swimming in Argentina

Of Argentina’s 74 Olympic medals, only three have been awarded in swimming. Two were in very distant times, the gold of Alberto Zorrilla in the 400 meters freestyle of Amsterdam-1928 and the silver of Jeanette Campbell in the 100 meters freestyle of Berlin-1936. The third is more recent, the bronze of Georgina Bardach in the 400 meters styles of Athens-2004.

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Delfina Pignatiello will have a hard time adding her name to that select club, but she arrived with maximum enthusiasm, ambition and knowing she has little to lose.

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