World Championships, Day Five Men’s Finals: Gregorio Paltrinieri’s Golden Home Coming For A Slice Of World Short Course History in the 800m Freestyle

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GOLDEN HOME COMING FOR GREGORIO: The 800 and 1500m freestyle double - something to celebrate. Photo Courtesy World Aquatics.

A Special Thanks to Deep Blue Media for providing the images from this meet

Deep Blue Media

World Championships: Gregorio Paltrinieri’s Golden Home Coming For A Slice Of World Short Course History in the 800m Freestyle

Italy’s distance king Gregorio Paltrinieri created his own slice of history on night five of the 16th World Short Course Championships with a dominant display to grab gold in the inaugural men’s 800 metres freestyle, securing the distance double after his 1500m freestyle victory on night one.

The 28-year-old has returned to his second home at the Melbourne Sports And Aquatic Centre (MSAC) and it has certainly been a golden home coming to the venue where he trained alongside good friend, and fellow Olympic champion Mack Horton in the lead up to the Rio Olympics.

Day 5 Results

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Paltrineri survived a challenge from Frenchman Logan Fontaine who made a move at the 300 metre mark, but it was short lived as the wily Italian kicked away at the 400m turn and was never headed to win in a time of 7 minutes 29.99 – to create the official Championship record in this event.

Denmark’s ever present Henrik Christiansen tried to mount a challenge but had to settle for silver in 7:31.48 with Fontaine taking the bronze in 7:33.12.

Paltrinieri set the early pace leading through the first 100m in 53.98 which he held through the 200m turn in 1:51.15 before Fontaine took with the first six swimmers all within a second and half.

But over the next 100m the experienced Olympic and five-time World Long Course Champion over 800, 1500m and 10km took full control, turning at the half-way mark in 3:45.81, the 500m in 4:41.70, the 600m in 5:38.01 and the 700m in 6:34.14.

He was never headed over the backend of the race which saw Horton sixth on the night but ninth on the overall standings, given it was a timed final, with fastest times locked in the morning heats.

Grant Hackett‘s longest standing world record of 7:23.42 was never threatened – a time set in the MSAC pool back in 2008.

Paltrinieri’s second gold continues Italy’s impressive World Championships from their men’s team with gold in the men’s 4x50m medley relay coming after their successes in the 4x100m and 4x50m freestyle relays and Thomas Ceccon‘s gold medal in the 100m individual medley.