European Championships: Gregorio Paltrinieri Wins 800 Free In CR 7:40.86; WJR For Lorenzo Galossi In Bronze

Gregorio Paltrinieri: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

European Championships: Gregorio Paltrinieri Wins 800 Free In CR 7:40.86; WJR For Lorenzo Galossi in Bronze

Gregorio Paltrinieri won the 800m freestyle in a championship record of 7:40.86 as 16-year-old Lorenzo Galossi took bronze in a world junior record for an Italy one-three at the European Championships in Rome.

Paltrinieri broke with 250m left after he, Mikhaylo Romanchuk and Lukas Maertens went stroke for stroke.

The Tokyo Olympic silver medallist went clear of the field while behind him Galossi, the European junior champion, forced his way into the reckoning with three men battling for two medals.

Maertens took silver in 7:42.65 weeks after second over 400 free at the worlds and Galossi the bronze in 7:43.37, a world junior record, the Italian only having turned 16 in May.

Paltrinieri was out fast in lane three and led at 200, 0.17secs ahead of Romanchuk, the Ukrainian having been warmly welcomed by the Italian crowd.

The trio were going stroke for stroke in lanes three to five with Galossi a body length behind with Maertens ahead at 300 but only 0.13 separated the trio at halfway.

Paltrinieri, the 2019 world champion, attempted to make his move and had put clear water between himself and the rest of the field by 600, at which point Galossi was fourth, 0.21 behind Romanchuk in third.

The crowd was urging Paltrinieri on, their roar reaching a crescendo as he touched in a new championship mark, lowering his own mark of 7:42.33 from May 2016.

Behind him Maertens held off the fast-finishing Galossi whose final 50 of 27.90 was the swiftest in the field, the 16-year-old producing a last 50 of 57.33.

Paltrinieri hauled himself on the lane ropes with his arms to the heavens with Galossi joining him.

Paltrinieri said:

“I’m really satisfied, it was a very difficult race.

“The other guys Mischa (Romanchuk) and Lukas (Maertens) are also working and training really hard.

“But at the same time it’s impossible to lose in front of such a fantastic crowd. I felt great to see so many fans on the stands. My emotions are running high right now.”

Maertens is just 20 and with plenty of years ahead of him with the distance freestyle a hotbed of talent and competition in Europe.

He said:

“I didn’t really expect a medal but sort of dreamed of it. It was a very good race, Gregorio is very fast, a world-class swimmer and I had a very good time. It was awesome.”

Galossi, who will also compete in the 200 and 400, was in a state of disbelief, saying:

“I’m in shock, it was an incredible race, something we’ve been preparing a lot for.

“I’m very happy with my time as I set a new junior world record and that’s amazing.”


  1. Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA); 7:40.86
  2. Lukas Maertens (GER); 7:42.65
  3. Lorenzo Galossi (ITA); 7:43.37
  4. Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR); 7:45.03
  5. Sven Schwarz (GER); 7:47.36
  6. Damien Joly (FRA); 7:48.82
  7. Joris Bouchaut (FRA); 7:50.69
  8. Viktor Johansson (SWE); 7:54.51

For full results and splits, click here


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