Gregorio Paltrinieri

Gregorio Paltrinieri (born 5 September 1994) is an Italian competitive swimmer. He is the Olympic and world long course and short course champion and three-times European long course champion in the 1500 m freestyle event at the 2012, 2014 and 2016 European Aquatics Championships, and two-times European long course champion in the 800 m freestyle event. Paltrinieri is the current 1500 m freestyle (short course) world record holder. He also holds the long course European records in the 800 m and 1500 m freestyle events with times of 7:39.27 and 14:34.04.

Gregorio Paltrinieri
Paltrinieri in Kazan, Russia 2015
Personal information
National team Italy
Born (1994-09-05) 5 September 1994
Carpi, Italy
Height1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight72 kg (159 lb)
CoachStefano Morini

Swimming career

Paltrinieri started swimming at a very young age, and until the age of 12, he specialized in breaststroke. However, as he grew, he converted to freestyle, specializing in the longer pool distances.

2011: Junior

His first international success came as a 16-year-old at the 2011 European Junior Swimming Championships in Belgrade, where he won the 1500 metres gold and an 800 metres bronze. Having qualified for the World championships in Shanghai, he did not progress further than the heats, but a few weeks later at the World Junior Championships in Lima, Peru, he was back on the podium with a 1500 metres freestyle silver and an 800 metres bronze.

2012: Summer Olympics and European Champion

In March 2012 Paltrinieri won the Italian 800 metres freestyle title, and two months later, he left everyone in his wake at the European Championships in Debrecen, defeating renowned Hungarians Gergő Kis and Gergely Gyurta in the 1500 m. His time of 14:48.92 qualified him for the Olympics and, at the time, was the year's second-fastest 1500 m swim, breaking the championship record.[1] He is trained by Stefano Morini.[2] At 2012 Summer Olympics, the 17-year-old Italian advanced to his first Olympic final with the 4th fastest time of 14:50.11.[3] In the final he finished 5th in 14:51.92.

At the end of 2012 Paltrinieri finished 2nd in the 1500 meter freestyle event at the 2012 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m), and was later awarded a gold medal after a positive doping test for Danish swimmer Mads Glæsner.[4] However, upon appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Glæsner's 1500-meter freestyle gold medal was reinstated based on the fact that a test after that race, two days after his initial positive test following the 400-meter free, was clean. This means that Paltrinieri was returned to his silver medal position in the 1500 m freestyle.[5]

2013 World Aquatics Championships

Paltrinieri competed for Italy at 2013 World Aquatics Championships. He reached his first 800 metres freestyle final at a long course world championship event finishing sixth in 7:50.29. In the 1500 metres freestyle event Paltrinieri won a bronze medal with a time of 14:45.38, establishing a new national record.[6]


In 2014 Paltrinieri at the Italian Swimming Championships in Riccione finished second in 800 metres freestyle event with a time of 7:43.01, behind Gabriele Detti who established a new European record in the distance.[7] Three days later Paltrinieri established a new national record of 14:44.50 in the 1500 m freestyle event. The day before the meet, Paltrinieri had swum an unofficial world best time of 50:56.50 in the 5 km (long course pool) at the Italian indoor distance championships in Riccione.[8]

In August, at the 2014 European Aquatics Championships, Paltrinieri won the 800 m and 1500 m freestyle events establishing the new European record of 14:39.93; with this result he became only the fifth swimmer ever to swim under 14:40.00 in the 1500 m freestyle long course. At the 2014 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) in Doha, Paltrinieri became World champion for the first time with the new European record of 14:16.10, which was also the second fastest time ever swum behind Grant Hackett's world record.

2015: World Champion and World Record Holder

At the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, in Kazan, Paltrinieri won the silver medal in the 800 m, losing to Sun Yang. Later he won the 1500 m, setting a new European record, a race in which Sun did not take part despite having qualified for the final with the second best time after Paltrinieri.

At the end of the year Paltrineri took part at the 2015 European Short Course Swimming Championships in Netanya (Israel); here he established a new 1500 metres freestyle world record of 14:08.06 winning the gold medal ahead fellow Italian and friend Gabriele Detti. The previous record set in 2001 by Grant Hackett was beaten by 2.04 seconds. With the gold medal, Paltrinieri also became the simultaneous holder of the world and European titles, in long course and short course, in the 1500 metres freestyle event.

2016: Olympic champion

At the 2016 Rio Olympics Paltrinieri won the gold medal in the 1500 m freestyle in a time of 14:34.57, having qualified fastest for the final.


In 2017, Paltrinieri confirmed his World Championship gold medal in the 1500m freestyle at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships held in Budapest. He also won a bronze medal in the 800m race, won by teammate Gabriele Detti.


At the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, Paltrinieri won the gold medal in the 800 m, setting the new European record in 7:39.27. Later, after two-straight world titles in the 1500 m, Paltinieri lost the race but ended with the bronze medal. After placing 6th in the men’s 10 km in what was his first World Championships open water race, Paltrinieri won the silver medal in the mixed 5 km team relay.

Personal bests

Long course
Event Time Meet Date Note(s)
200 m freestyle1:50.96 Italian Championships 3 April 2012
400 m freestyle3:46.29 XVIII Mediterranean Games 25 June 2018
800 m freestyle7:39.27 2019 World Aquatics Championships 24 July 2019 ER
1500 m freestyle14:34.04 2016 European Aquatics Championships 18 May 2016 ER
5000 m freestyle50:56.50 Italian indoor distance championships 7 April 2014 [8]
400 m individual medley4:23.26 Energy for Swim 9 August 2017
Short course
Event Time Meet Date Note(s)
200 m freestyle1:50.00 Italian Championships 26 March 2013
400 m freestyle3:45.17 2012 European Short Course Swimming Championships 22 November 2012
800 m freestyle7:31.33 2015 European Short Course Swimming Championships 4 December 2015 Estab. in 1500 m final[9]
1500 m freestyle14:08.06 2015 European Short Course Swimming Championships 4 December 2015 WR


  1. "Londra 2012 – i qualificati". Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  2. "Europei di Debrecen – Paltrinieri, un oro per Londra" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  3. "Sun qualifies fastest for 1500 m final, ahead of Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli, Canada's Ryan Cochrane and Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri". Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  4. "FINA Strips Glaesner of World Championship As Well; Paltrinieri Becomes 1500 Champ". Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  5. Keith, Braden. "Mads Glaesner Appeal Upheld, He Will Retain World Championship Gold". Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  6. "Men's 1500m free: Sun (CHN) confirms supremacy since 2011". Archived from the original on 7 August 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  7. Andersen, Jared (8 April 2014). "National 800 Free Record For Gabriele Detti at Italian Nationals Day 1". Swimswam. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  8. Lord, Craig (7 April 2014). "Gregorio Paltrinieri's 50mins 'world' 5 km mark a warm-up for Nationals". Swimvortex. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  9. Men's 1500 freestyle final
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