He Is Baaaaaaccccccckkkkkkk!  The Gold Medal Swim of Gregorio Paltrinieri

He Is Baaaaaaccccccckkkkkkk! The Gold Medal Swim of Gregorio Paltrinieri

After winning the 1500m freestyle at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy has been on the podium at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, FINA World Championships and at many international competitions, but he has not enjoyed such a dominating performance like he did today in the 1500m freestyle at the 2022 FINA World Championships.

He was as much as six seconds under world record pace, but eventually cooled off and set a championship record and European record in 14:32.80 in the pool in Hungary with a slew of open water swimming guys chasing after him including Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine, Florian Wellbrock of Germany, and Guilherme Costa of Brazil.

This head-to-head competition in the pool and open water reminds us of the answer that two-time Olympian Keri-anne Payne once gave at the 2005 FINA World Championships to a media question, “Are you a pool swimmer or do you consider yourself an open water swimmer?

She answered simply, “I am a swimmer.”

And that is, precisely, what all these great athletes are.

1500m Freestyle Results

  1. Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy) 14:32.80
  2. Bobby Finke (USA) 14:36.70
  3. Florian Wellbrock (Germany) 14:36.94
  4. Lukas Martens (Germany) 14:40.89
  5. Mykhailo Romanchuk (Ukraine) 14:40.98
  6. Guilherme Costa (Brazil) 14:48.53
  7. Daniel Jervis (Great Britain) 14:48.86
  8. Damien Joly (France) 15:09.15

What is most exciting is that after a week of great racing in the pool, Paltrinieri, Wellbrock, and Romanchuk will take their talents to the open water where their fierce rivalries will continue in the 5 km, 10 km, and 6 km team relay events in Lake Lupa.

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