arena Swim of the Week: Lorenzo Galossi Becomes #2 16&U 800 Freestyler In History

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Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

It’s safe to say it’s been a successful couple of months for the Italian National Team.

After winning a record nine medals at the World Championships in Budapest, including five gold, the team produced a 14-medal haul at the European Juniors in Bucharest, led by 16-year-old phenom Lorenzo Galossi.

Galossi, who raced the men’s 400 free heats at Worlds (placing 12th), had an underrated triple gold medal performance at Euro Juniors, claiming the 400 free, 800 free and anchoring home the victorious Italian 800 free relay.

Galossi’s performances were largely overshadowed by Romanian David Popovici, who swept the boys’ 50, 100 and 200 free, including winning the latter race head-to-head over the Italian.

However, Galossi took center stage this week at the Italian Summer Championships, a meet that served as a supplemental qualifier for the European Championships in August.

Galossi, who only turned 16 this past May, produced an eye-popping time of 7:46.28 in the men’s 800 freestyle, which nearly made him the fastest male swimmer aged 16 and under in history.

The swim only trails the 7:45.92 produced by Croatian Franko Grgic at the 2019 World Junior Swimming Championships in terms of 16 & under performances, as Galossi crushed the Italian Junior Record of 7:49.76 he set back in April.

At Euro Juniors a few weeks ago, he had won gold in the 800 in a time of 7:52.04.

According to USA Swimming’s database, Grgic and Tunisian Olympic gold medalist Ahmed Hafnaoui (7:49.09) are the only other 16 & under swimmers to have broken 7:50 in the 800 free. The United States National Age Group Record for 15-16 boys stands at 7:52.05, set by Larsen Jensen at the 2002 Pan Pacific Championships.

Beyond the overall time, the thing that stands out about Galossi’s performance was the way he swam it. The Circolo Canottieri Aniene-trained athlete produced a massive negative split, out in 3:55.14 on the opening 400 before closing the back-half in a scintillating 3:51.14.

He actually swam the race in a similar fashion when going his previous PB at the Italian Spring Championships, splitting 3:56.02/3:53.74.

Grgic also negative-split his 7:45.92 swim, out in 3:53.11 and back in 3:52.81.

Split Comparison

Galossi, April 2022 Galossi, July 2022
27.51 27.16
56.96 (29.45) 56.76 (29.60)
1:26.69 (29.73) 1:26.50 (29.74)
1:56.54 (29.85) 1:56.24 (29.74)
2:26.48 (29.94) 2:26.21 (29.97)
2:56.22 (29.74) 2:55.97 (29.76)
3:26.26 (30.04) 3:25.65 (29.68)
3:56.02 (29.76) 3:55.14 (29.49)
4:25.70 (29.68) 4:24.66 (29.52)
4:55.43 (29.73) 4:53.66 (29.00)
5:25.31 (29.88) 5:22.78 (29.12)
5:54.81 (29.50) 5:51.76 (28.98)
6:24.40 (29.59) 6:20.57 (28.81)
6:53.54 (29.14) 6:49.67 (29.10)
7:22.90 (29.36) 7:18.64 (28.97)
7:49.76 (26.86) 7:46.28 (27.64)

Looking at Galossi’s back-half 400 alone, 3:51.14 would rank him less than a second back of leading the European 18 and under rankings in the 400 free this season, not including his own #1 time of 3:45.93.

His final time would’ve also placed sixth in the men’s 800 free at the 2022 World Championships, and slots him into 10th in the world rankings this season.

Now the fourth-fastest Italian ever, trailing two men who have won world titles in the event in Gregorio Paltrinieri (7:39.27) and Gabriele Detti (7:40.77), along with 2007 World Championship bronze medalist Federico Colbertaldo (7:43.84), Galossi has clearly established himself as the next great Italian distance freestyler.

Already qualified to represent Italy on home soil at next month’s European Championship in Rome, Galossi also broke his Italian Junior Record in the 200 free at the meet this week, clocking 1:47.42, and will be one to watch both next month and in the lead-up to Paris.

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10 months ago

He’s 16? In this picture he looks about 30.

Tim Morrison
Reply to  kazoo
10 months ago

Went back to my HS and the team literally looked like 8th graders

10 months ago

Does anyone know what happened to Grgic since 2019?
He had some bad swims/DNS’s in 2021 and since then nada per Swimrankings.

Reply to  Bud
10 months ago

Shoulder injury/injuries.
My guess is overtraining/improper training. Such a shame, and bad timing.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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