M1500 Free: Gregorio Paltrinieri 14:34.04 Euro Record Traces Sun’s WR Past Hackett

Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy and the NBA pose he likes to put on show at the end of races - by Patrick B. Kraemer

The next battle will be a bigger one with more tension in the water but Gregorio Paltrinieri will head to Rio as a man with Olympic gold in his sights and a fine memory of last time out: 14:34.04 via a 7:46.24 at the 800m mark. The time is faster than Grant Hackett’s 2001 stomping standard and second swiftest ever after the 14:31.02 world record of Sun Yang*, the Chinese Olympic champion.

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The next battle will be a bigger one with more tension in the water but Gregorio Paltrinieri will head to Rio as a man with Olympic gold in his sights and a fine memory of last time out: 14:34.04 via a 7:46.24 at the 800m mark. The time is faster than Grant Hackett’s 2001 stomping standard and second swiftest ever after the 14:31.02 world record of Sun Yang*, the Chinese Olympic champion.



Well, that was outstanding, a pleasure to watch. I hope he can stand tallest in Rio.


If you only could see the smile on my face. Go Greg, humble and always smiling, you make us proud


Finally a time that I can see worthy of Rio gold medal!

I don’t want to watch Sun Yang in Rio, but if he appears, I hope Paltrinieri will trash, no destroy, no, beaten him into submission.

kevin roose

Cracking swim can Horton respond to that yes he can if the demons of kazan have been left behind …….bring on Rio


We cannot know what may transpire between now and Rio but barring illness or injury, I suspect it may take one truly historic swim to roll Paltinieri.


aswimfan,Sun Yang didn’t owe you money, you don’t have to dig to belittle him every time you comment on others


Sun Yang didn’t owe me money per se, but by cheating he took the enjoyment out of watching and following his events, and I feel cheated too. I’d rather give him some money rather than having felt cheated.
Also, Sun Yang is featured prominently in this article.

Craig Lord

vichel – he owed respect, first and foremost to those he races – and he provided none on a few levels (and you ‘dug to belittle’ in your other comment and strayed to inaccuracy beyond legality to make your point, which is why your point, in this instance, is gone – please steer clear of such things – thanks)

paolo rubbiani

I know: in the past, there have been so many outstanding champions in the 1500 free, also stronger in the shorter distances than Paltrinieri is (one name: Hackett), but considering ONLY the 1500 free, Gregorio Paltrinieri could really become the Michael Jordan of this swimming race, with his incredible capability to perform at the highest level during the (regular) season and, obviously, at the main events (the playoffs).
Already two rings in his finger in the last two years (EC and WC) in LC and the same in SC with also the WR. And Rio is looming…

Edmund Trebus

Anyone else suspicious about Paltrinieri? 42 strokes per 50 compared with 28 for Yang, so nowhere near as efficient. You’ve got to have a hell of an engine to pull that off.



Paltrinieri barely kicks. Which I suspect saving him a lot of oxygen and minimised wasted energy.
I wonder if he does a lot of rowing for upper body muscle exercise to be able to use mostly pull.


Since the early days of swimming, Edmund, the main two variables in a swimmer stroke are distance per stroke and stroke rate. Some swimmers are about stroke rate, others about efficiency. There is no reason to be more suspicious about Greg’s frequency than about Sun’s efficiency. And speaking of engine, what kind of engine do you need to have to pull a 53” 100 free at the end of a 1500?
Bottom line, Paltrinieri is clean unless proven otherwise, Sun is already proven otherwise.


ps and I totally second Aswimfan’s comment, legs consume a lot of oxygen and he uses them very little

Craig Lord

You need a hell of an engine to swim 28 strokes, too, Edmund. I don’t think stroke rate per se is an indicator of foul play (and as asf and thereaL note…kick and ‘size’ play a part in the count). Nor is their any evidence of foul play there – as opposed to Sun Yang having falling foul of anti-doping rules.

Blah Blah

To say palintieri is clean until proven otherwise is logic that has been proven wrong time and time again in sport, however, nothing about him strikes me as particularly suspicious (other than how good he is). He would not be on the top of my list if I had to speculate as to dopers who simply haven’t been caught yet.


During 2012 London, much of the talk was about Shiwen’s last 100, and almost nothing was mentioned about Yang’s ridiculous last 50 except that he was a “great swimmer”, “amazing last lap” etc.
When he first did it in 2011 Shanghai, it should have set off alarm at how ridiculousness his last 50 was:
At 25.9, it was significantly faster than what the entire 200 free finalists could manage in their last lap.
Not even Ian Thorpe, who was famous for his legendary last lap from the age of 15, was ever near as fast in all of his 200/400 WRs exploits.
And in London, Yang’s last 50 was even more ridiculous: 25.6, which was, again, significantly faster than the entire 200 free finalists, including Agnel who was only able to muster 25.9 in his last lap.


Clean until proven otherwise is not a logical principle, but a legal one.


aswimfan – I agree that we can be a bit more sceptical of Yang’s previous performances now.
But also, the comparison between 200 and 1500 is not so simple as ‘the 1500 is longer so the last lap should be slower’. The 200 is intense semi-sprinting the whole way and builds up serious lactic acid, whereas the 1500 is more aerobic – so the last lap of each is not so far apart as might seem. (Which you know this already and Yang is the extreme case of course, but still). In 2007, you had guys going 27low-28-low at the end of the 200 (Phelps aside!); and 27-high-28-mid for the 1500, so not that different.
Some people forgot this a bit in London, saying that “Ye wasn’t that off-the-charts, because Adlington came back faster in her 800 [than Lochte’s freestyle leg]”. Just because you have been swimming for 7’15 rather than 3’10 doesn’t mean it is definitely more tiring and so a slower last 100, especially considering Free vs IM.


On topic – what a great swim. I hope also he beats Yang (if he is there). Very exciting if he is not fully rested.


Yes, I realized that. 🙂
I just wanted to show how extreme Yang’s last 50s were.


Still, Stabilo, Sun swam his last 100 in 53”, while Paltrinieri and Hackett in 56”.

Admittedly, Paltrinieri has no base speed to speak of (I doubt he can break 51), but Hackett did. Hackett was even a 200 free WR holder, unlike Sun.


Yep. It’s always a bit hard to believe that Sun is on for a WR when he is 2-3s off with a 100 to go, even if you know he will hit the afterburners. Incredible speed. (Maybe in both senses)

I was going to say the example of Park as another superfast finisher but maybe that’s not so good an idea now… 🙂


Like in cycling, in swimming there are high turnover ‘spinners’ and long distance per rotation ‘mashers’. You see spinners on the women’s side more, I think because of less upper body strength in general. So if you want to make a dig at Paltrinieri, say he swims like a girl. 😉

If you hunt around you tube a bit, there’s some excellent side by side freestyle video of Otylia J, (a classic masher) and Laure Manaudou (a spinner) from a mid-00s World Championships showing how the two different styles can both generate excellent results.

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