Paltrinieri Hits European Record in 800 Free, But Unratified Mark Still Stands

Tuesday, November 2nd – Sunday, November 7th
Aquatics Palace, Kazan Russia
SCM (25m)
Prelim recap

Italian distance ace Gregorio Paltrinieri took down the official European record in the men’s short course 800-meter freestyle on Sunday at the European championships.

Paltrinieri went 7:27.94 to win the event, breaking former French star Yannick Agnel‘s previous official European record of 7:29.17, which he threw down at the 2012 French National Championships. However, Paltrinieri’s time was still well off of Ukrainian Mykhailo Romanchuk‘s 7:25.73 from an International Swimming League test event in 2020, which has gone unratified. In that same race, Norway’s Henrik Christiansen was also under the record at 7:25.78.

Romanchuk and Christiansen were just over two seconds off of Grant Hackett‘s 7:23.42 world record, which has gone untouched for a whopping 13-plus years — since the Victoria Championships in July 2008, making it the oldest remaining world record in the sport.

Sunday’s swim also obliterated the meet record of 7:38.35, previously owned by Florian Wellbrock. Paltrinieri and Wellbrock essentially stroke-for-stroke for the entire race, with the former ultimately avenging his loss in the 1500 by coming out on top by just .05.

Paltrinieri split 25.58/27.48/27.99/28.34/28.29/28.46/28.63/28.49/28.51/28.48/28.27/28.54/28.49/28.46/27.81/26.12. Throughout the race, the largest lead that either swimmer held was less than a quarter second, which came at the 550 mark with Paltinieri leading Wellbrock 5:08.52 to 5:08.74. Germany’s Sven Schwarz, who was third in the 1500 earlier in the meet, also took the bronze in the 800 in 7:33.85.

Paltrinieri is also the European record holder in the short course 1500 as well as the long course 800 and 1500.

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