Gregorio Paltrinieri Blasts 7:40.86 800 Free For New Championship Record




  1. Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) – 7:40.86 (Championships Record)
  2. Lukas Martens (GER) – 7:42.65
  3. Lorenzo Galossi (ITA) – 7:43.37 (WJR)
  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. Victor Johansson (SWE) – 7:54.51

As Italian distance superstar Gregorio Paltinieri was announced before the men’s 800 freestyle, the home crowd screamed and applauded wildly. And that was before Paltrinieri broke his own championship record in the event. Paltrinieri clocked 7:40.86, smashing his old record of 7:42.33 which he swam six years ago in 2016.

This performance comes on the back of his electric performance at Worlds in the men’s 1500 freestyle, where he blasted out early, spending much of the race ahead of the world record line, and ultimately setting a new European record on his way to the win.

Paltrinieri spent the first half of the race in a tight battle with Germany’s Lukas Märtens and Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk. At the 700-meter mark, Märtens held a .03 second lead over Paltrinieri, but the Italian took the lead back at the next turn and never surrendered it, extending it to finish 1.79 seconds ahead of Märtens.

Split Comparison: Paltrinieri 2016 CR v. 2022 CR

Paltrinieri – 2022 European Championships Paltrinieri- 2016 European Championships
100 55.31 55.88
200 1:53.49 1:53.06
300 2:52.06 2:50.63
400 3:50.81 3:49.06
500 4:49.13 4:47.49
600 5:46.49 5:45.81
700 6:43.99 6:43.95
800 7:40.86 7:42.33

At the 2016 Championships, Paltrinieri led the whole race, going out fast and holding on to finish 1.19 seconds ahead of his Italian teammate Gabriele Detti.

Paltrinieri is known for going out fast and trying to hang on, but it seems he switched up his tactics for this race. Instead of daring the field to chase after him, Paltrinieri hung with Märtens and Romanchuk for the majority of the time, making his move at the end of the race rather than the start.

It’s also where Paltrinieri catches his former self: after being out half a second ahead of his record at the 100, Paltrinieri fell off his record pace. At the 600 he began to close the gap, pulling essentially even at the 700, then surging past to break the record by 1.47 seconds. In 2016, his closing 100 split was 58.38; in 2022, it was 56.87.

Paltrinieri will race the 1500 freestyle later in the meet where he’s the top seed thanks to his 14:32.80 record-setting performance at Worlds.

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About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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