Pool Remains A Priority To Gregorio Paltrinieri As He Commits To Challenging On All Fronts In Tokyo

gregorio paltrinieri
Gregorio Paltrinieri: Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Gregorio Paltrinieri – who became the first Italian to claim Olympic 1500m gold at Rio 2016 – insists the pool remains a priority and that he will challenge on all fronts at Tokyo 2020 as he credited the break enforced by coronavirus with renewing his motivation.

Paltrinieri announced in May that he had split with Stefano Morini, his coach of nine years, in a move away from the Italian swimming federation training centre at Ostia to join the Italian national open water squad working under the guidance of Fabrizio Antonelli.

The 25-year-old won the 2015 and 2017 world titles before taking bronze behind Florian Wellbrock and Mykhailo Romanchuk at last year’s World Championships in Gwangju.

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

He also came sixth in the 10km – in a race won by Wellbrock – to book his spot in the open water at the Tokyo Olympics, now rescheduled for July 2021 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, he dispelled any notion that he would now concentrate on the longer, outdoor event but instead said that he plans to give equal attention to pool and open water.

Paltrinieri was speaking in Rome at the opening of the Educamp 2020 – a multi-disciplinary sports camp for young people aged six to 14.

He was quoted in Gazetta dello Sport, saying:

“I feel very motivated, I take it as an opportunity, a year is missing, I am very busy.

“My way of training has changed, but I have not given up the swimming pool because the swimming pool remains a priority.

“It may seem risky but the choice to do everything can give me a lot. It will be a tough week, a tour de force. At the World Championships I have already tried, doing some good and some bad things. Now I will try to do everything the best.”

Of whether he could follow in the footsteps of double Olympic medallist Federica Pellegrini who was the Italian flag-bearer at Rio 2016, the five-time European champion said:

“Me the standard-bearer? It would be something legendary, historical, for me it would be an enormous pleasure.”


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