Gregorio Paltrinieri Outlasts Competition For Italy’s First Ever 1500 Free Gold Medal

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports


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Men’s 1500 Free FINAL:

The final of the men’s 1500 free was the final individual event on the docket for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, continuing the excitement of the previous nights. Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri charged ahead of the World Record pace for the large majority of the race, falling off pace in the only in the final 100-meters. Paltrinieri stopped the clock at a swift 14:34.57 to earn gold and become the first Italian to ever win the 1500 free at an Olympic Games.

Reflecting on the race, Paltrinieri expressed, “It’s amazing. I have dreamed of this medal ever since I was a child. I mean a gold medal, it was more difficult than I expected because it’s an Olympic final. It was tough but I’m very excited. The gold medal is amazing.”

USA distance ace, Connor Jaeger, battled for the remaining two spots on the podium throughout much of the race with Italy’s Gabrielle Detti, fellow American Jordan Wilimovsky, and Australia’s Mack Horton. Jaeger pulled ahead of the competition to finish second in American Record fashion with a 14:39.48, lowering his own record of 14:41.20 from last summer’s World Championships.

Jaeger had to sit around after swimming in night one’s 400 free, but didn’t seem bothered by it, telling the media “[It was] a pretty exciting way for me to end the meet. I got to wait around for seven days until I could race again and basically watched Team USA swim out of their minds.”

Detti picked up the bronze medal just over a second behind Jaeger with a 14:40.86 earning Italy their first bronze medal in the 1500 free.

Wilimovsky grabbed fourth place with a final time of 14:45.03, giving him a nice competitive edge heading into the 10K Open Water competition coming up.

Horton finished fifth overall with a 14:49.54, just ahead of Canada’s Ryan Cochrane’s 14:49.61.

France’s Damien Joly turned in a 14:52.73 for seventh, while Norway’s Henrik Christiansen was eighth with a 15:02.66.

Full results can be found here