Watch Mustachioed Paltrinieri’s 14:33.10 European Record


Video courtesy of YouTuber Swim Swimming


The 2020 Sette Colli Trophy ended with a bang, as Italian Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri busted out the fastest performance of his career in the 1500m freestyle. In the process, he’s backed up his assertions that, in spite of changing coaches in an effort to continue to pursue open water, he’s still fully committed to the 1500 free in the pool.

Paltrinieri is the reigning Olympic gold medalist in this event from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, having put up a monster 14:34.57 for gold 4 years ago. His swim from the European Championships earlier that year, done in 14:34.04, previously stood as the continental mark in the event.

Tonight in Rome, however, the 25-year-old found a new gear to reach a time of 14:33.10 to not only claim the gold, but overtake his own previous PB, Italian Record, and European Record.

Paltrinieri’s time would have taken gold at last year’s World Championships ahead of winner Florian Wellbrock’s (GER) 14:36.54. Paltrinieri was 3rd in that Gwangju race, capturing bronze in 14:38.75.

All-Time Top 10 Performers, Men’s 1500m Freestyle

  1. Sun Yang, China – 14:31.02
  2. Gregorio Paltrinieri, Italy – 14:33.10
  3. Grant Hackett, Australia – 14:34.56
  4. Florian Wellbrock, Germany – 14:36.15
  5. Mykhailo Romanchuk, Ukraine – 14:36.88
  6. Ous Mellouli, Tunisia – 14:37.28
  7. Connor Jaeger, USA – 14:39.48
  8. Mack Horton, Australia – 14:39.54
  9. Ryan Cochrane, Canada – 14:39.63
  10. Gabriele Detti, Italy – 14:40.86

The entire breakdown of Paltrinieri’s performance, the 2nd best performance in history only behind Chinese swimmer Sun Yang’s WR of 14:31.02, is seen below.


As originally reported:


Sette Colli Record – Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA), 14:49.06 2017
Italian Record – Gregorio Paltrinieri, 14:34.04 2016

  • GOLD – Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) 14:33.10
  • SILVER – Domenico Acerenza (ITA) 14:49.98
  • BRONZE – Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA) 15:06.29

Busting out the fastest 1500m free time of his career, Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri sizzled with a time of 14:33.10 to take the gold in the final event here at Sette Colli.

Paltrinieri held the Italian national record with the 14:34.04 he logged in Rio for Olympic gold, with the time also representing the European record in the event.

Flash forward to tonight and the unstoppable 25-year-old blasted the 2nd fastest performance all-time. Only Chinese Olympic champion Sun Yang’s World Record of 14:31.02 from the 2012 Olympic Games has been faster.

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1 month ago

He circle swam. How much faster could he have gone if he didn’t circle swim.

Reply to  applesandoranges
1 month ago

Almost everyone circle swims. You do it every day, twice a day for months and years, it is very hard to change that habit! He will be a facto in OW too!

Reply to  Ghost
1 month ago

I have a photo of him winning a 10k in Miami a year or two ago. It was a close finish as he narrowly beat another Italian swimmer. Had the other swimmer not veered off course and gotten tangled with GP I thin he would have beat him. The women’s race was even tighter.

Reply to  applesandoranges
1 month ago

I was going to say the same thing. There’s two seconds over a mile there!

1 month ago

I think technique in distance freestyle is truly ‘whatever-works-for-you’ technique. Back in the days I thought I’ve seen ‘textbook’ distance freestyle technique when I saw Sun Yang’s insanely long catch and slow stroke rate in 2012, and being a distance swimmer myself I’ve always wanted to learn from Sun’s technique. That is until Patrinieri came knocking on the door with his arms made of steel and said ‘Lemme show you how to hold a stroke rate of 40/min with a cross-legged kick for 1500’ That really leaves us with some questions tho, is there a ‘perfect’ technique for freestyle? Or even any of the strokes? Are our bodies so unique from one another that the most efficient way of moving… Read more »

Reply to  Justhereforfun
1 month ago

I think it depends on the strength and tempo of the kick. The stronger the kick, the easier it is to keep a longer stroke out front. Swimmers who are stronger at pulling but are weaker kickers tend to have a higher stroke rate.

Reply to  Justhereforfun
1 month ago

absolutely…. the style has to go with the body, muscle type, heart, lungs, head shape, down to the tip of the fingers. Gary Hall Sr. would look at you and tell you the stroke per length and how high to raise your head, and how many dolphin kicks out the wall. He is so elevated, almost above the water, but his legs are tiny, horrible turns (relatively) yet he is the greatest 1500 meter swimmer since Rio

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Sam
1 month ago

before rio – he lead the world rankings from 2014-17

Reply to  Justhereforfun
1 month ago

we are trained to think that athletic looking movements involving jumping and running are the most technically perfect swim strokes…but we have a different component in our sport: water. you don’t bounce on the water with the soles of your feet, like you do on ground, but rather flick it with the top of your feet. it requires a pretty darn different set of muscles..therefore no, the best looking strokes may often not be the fastest

Reply to  Justhereforfun
1 month ago

I think the best part of his stroke is the one you don’t see from above water. Also, he rides pretty high, basically with a dry back. You can’t teach or learn that.

1 month ago

Amazing, he could have kept going!

Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Reminds me of the World Championships 1500 race back in the day of Steve Holland vs Rick Demont. Holland miscounted, and they both went an extra 100. Holland won and looked like he could’ve just kept going. Pretty sure that race turned the Rocket into a sprinter.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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