Italy Edges Hungary at the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series Mixed 6 km Relay

Italy Edges Hungary at the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series Mixed 6 km Relay

The inaugural FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series mixed 4x1500m relay was held in Yas Bay, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Italy just edged out Hungary by 2.6 seconds to win the 6 km mixed relay event at the Marathon Swim World Series in the UAE

The mixed relay included 2 men and 2 women, each swimming 1.5 km in Yas Bay. Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy anchored Team Italy in a blazing 15 minute 49.1 second open water 1500m, holding off 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon swim bronze medalist Kristóf Rasovszky of Hungary to win the event.

  1. Italy 1:06:49.10
  2. Hungary 1:06:51.70
  3. Germany 1:07:29.00
  4. USA 1:08:17.10
  5. Great Britain 1:08:38.90
  6. China 1:08:40.70
  7. Portugal 1:09:05.50
  8. Brazil 1:09:14.50
  9. Ukraine 1:14:02.50
  10. Kazakhstan 1:14:03.00
Gold medalists from Team Italy: Martina de Memme, Domenico Acerenza, Giulia Gabrielleschi and Gregorio Paltrinieri who split US$20,000 among themselves for their victorious effort
8 of the 10 national teams were led off by women
Photos courtesy of FINA

Italian anchor Paltrinieri described the relay, “It was a tough race. Since Tokyo, I have been focusing on pool training, mostly on the 1500m. Today was a race in the sea, but it was also a 1500m race so I decided to swim the relay. Relays are always fun. I won’t be swimming the 10 km tomorrow. I battled with Kristóf for the last 200m and he was trying to stay close to me. After the last bouy, I gave it everything I had and he wasn’t able to pass me.”

Rasovszky gave it his all, but came up short, “It was a fine race. Too bad that the others did their best to set up a fantastic finish between Gregorio and me, but I spoiled the party. Seriously, it was a great duel with Gregorio, he has definitely a better speed for a 1500m free. I tried to go with him and launch an attack at the finish, but he could also switch gears and apply the same tactics as I had done against him in Tokyo, shutting down the paths on both ends. On one of his kicks, I swallowed a great deal of saltwater and that didn’t help me for the last 200m. In the end, it was great, we achieved what we wanted. We are on the podium, and I can’t wait for the 10 km now.”

Florian Wellbrock who earned a bronze for Team Germany and had raced both men in Tokyo, winning gold in the 10 km marathon swim, said, “All in all, it was a good race. It’s not just about me. It’s a team effort. We did our best, good for the bronze now. Reaching the podium is always great, especially when you have Hungary and Italy in the race. They are all outstanding swimmers. Now I’m getting ready for the 10 km, we won’t have Gregorio in that event. Perhaps that makes things just a bit easier, but it’s going to be a big race anyway.”

The final leg pitted Kristóf Rasovszk versus Gregorio Paltrinieri

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Steven Munatones