Tuesday, November 2nd – Sunday, November 7th
Aquatics Palace, Kazan Russia
Here in Kazan, the men’s 1500m freestyle saw a new champion step onto the podium, as Germany’s Florian Wellbrock denied Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri repeat gold from 2 years ago.
Stopping the clock in a time of 14:09.88, 24-year-old Wellbrock checked in with the fastest time of his career, as well as a new German national record. Paltrinieri settled for silver in a time of 14:13.07 while bronze tonight went to fellow German Sven Schwarz in 14:26.24.
Entering this meet, the German national record stood at the 14:20.44 Jan Wolfgarten put on the books in 2009. Multi-Olympic medalist Wellbrock’s personal best rested at the 14:28.19 he logged nearly 3 years ago, so both marks were obliterated with what Wellbrock just produced.
In fact, Wellbrock’s performance here now renders the German as the world’s 3rd fastest performer ever. Paltrinieri leads the all-time rankings with his 14:08.06 World Record from 2015 while Ukrainian freestyle ace Mykhailo Romanchuk is the 2nd best man in history with a time of 14:09.14.
As such, Wellbrock became just the 3rd man ever to break the 14:10 threshold in this men’s short course meters 1500 freestyle.
Wellbrock is a true distance freestyler, with the man competing in both pool and open water while being dominant in both disciplines. In 2019, he became the first World Champion in both the 1500m free and the 10k open water event. He nearly repeated that same mega feat in Tokyo at this summer’s Olympic Games, capturing 10k gold and bronze in the 1500m free.
After his gold medal-winning performance, Wellbrock said, “It was a really good race, it’s a new national record by 13 seconds and I’m getting closer to the world record.
“It was a tough race and I’m pretty happy. I had only two weeks of rest after the Olympics and I already started training right away as we have a lot of events, now the short-course majors and then the long-course World and Europeans next year and of course the open water events.”
As for silver medalist Paltrinieri, the 27-year-old 2016 Olympic champion said, “I’m really happy with today’s race and time. For now, this is a super result.
“Luckily, the best long-distance swimmers are Europeans and it’s always a pleasure to race with them. Today I wouldn’t have managed to swim under 14:13, to be as fast as Florian.
“Slowly I’m returning to my best shape so now I’m more than happy. We’ll see what happens at the short-course Worlds. I need to continue working to be at the top level by December and then we’ll see what happens. Again, I didn’t see myself clock 14:13 today at this stage of the season, which is very long and full of events.”
Originally posted on SwimSwam.com. Click here to Read More.