Italy 1st, Italy 2nd, Hungary 3rd in Setúbal's FINA 6 km Mixed Team Relays

Italy 1st, Italy 2nd, Hungary 3rd in Setúbal’s FINA 6 km Mixed Team Relays

“Water Is Our World” is the FINA motto.

“Open Water Is Our World” summarizes the sentiments of the swimmers who competed in the 10 km races on Day 1 and the 6 km Mixed Team Relay on Day 2.

Not surprisingly, the Italians were dominant in the FINA Marathon Swim World Series 6 km Mixed Team Relays in Setúbal Bay, Portugal this weekend.

The swimmers were all clad in neoprene with a 17.5°C pre-race water temperature: racing in wetsuits was mandatory based on FINA rules.  

Gregorio Paltrinieri nearly pulled off winning two gold medals with a fast closing anchor. But Mario Sanzullo, both his Italian teammate and anchor leg competitor on Day 2, was able to told off Paltrinieri. The top Italian teams went 1-2 as Hungary finished third, Portugal finished fourth, and Brazil fifth as the rest of the national teams elected to return home and start preparing for the upcoming FINA World Championships (in 20 days).

On this particular day, the teams all choose to put their female swimmers in positions 1 and 2 while their male teammates swam in the third and fourth positions.

Veteran professional marathon swimmer Sanzullo told FINA, “I’m very excited to win the relay. It was very, very hard and Gregorio nearly caught me, but I was able to touch the finish line first. This type of racing is really fun. It’s tough coming back racing after yesterday’s 10km, but I did it for the team. I had to dig hard and push, but we were able to do it.”

Paltrinieri who made up 30 seconds during his anchor leg said, “The relay is the best race ever. It’s the type of race where you can have a lot of fun. I closed the gap a lot, but in the end, I was really tired and couldn’t do anything more. I like this type of competition. It’s super fun. It’s cool. Even if we had the 10 km yesterday, it’s just 1500m so you just go for it. I like it so much.”

Hungary followed the top two Italian teams with Reka Rohacs, Anna Olasz, David Betlehem, and Kristóf Rasovszky. Team Hungary veteran described to FINA her thoughts on the Mixed Team Relays, “We’re super excited to be here in Setúbal to do the relay and not just the 10 km. I think it’s super cool for every open water swimmer to swim in a relay as our sport is often very much an individual sport and we don’t often get the chance to swim as a team. I’m really happy that the relay is in the World Series.”

Hungarian anchor Rasovszky said, “It’s always tough catching up to the Italians. They’re all really fast. We’re happy with the third place and hopefully, at the world championships you’ll also see us on the podium again.


  1. Italy 1:12:27.00 (Giulia Gabbrielleschi, Ginevra Taddeucchi, Marcello Guidi, Mario Sanzullo)
  2. Italy 1:12:29.00 (Martina De Memme, Barbara Pozzobon, Domenico Acerenza, Gregorio Paltrinieri)
  3. Hungary 1:13:21.00 (Reka Rohacs, Anna Olasz, David Betlehem, Kristóf Rasovszky)
  4. Portugal 1:15:14.00 (Angelica Andre, Mafalda Rosa, Diogo Cardoso, Tiago Campos)
  5. Brazil 1:18:53.00 (Cibelle Jungblut, Carol Hertel, Luiz Felipe Loureiro, Bruce Hanson Almeida)

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Steven Munatones