European swimming championships: Italy always in the showcase
The smiling silhouette of the lord of the waters emerges from the waves of Ostia. The first of Gregorio Paltrinieri’s three cross-country efforts in the sea at home, the one also used as a “relief valve during the lockdown”, with the 5 km gold around his neck, the kiss of his girlfriend Rossella Fiammingo in the mouth and the company of Domenico Acerenza, splendid second and now inseparable squire, on the podium. Five minutes later, on the only step not occupied by the boys, there is Giulia Gabbrielleschi, third (as at the World Cup) behind the Dutch Van Rouwendaal and the Spanish Alvarez.
Chronicle of a crossing with Greg almost always in command, followed closely by the usual “Mimmo” also by the French Marc-Antoine Olivier (bronze), another training partner under Fabrizio Antonelli, which is worth confirming the continental title and a small revenge for Budapest’s second place in the world. «World or European, competitions at sea are always unpredictable. I was forced to pull up to the last meter », the quality stamp affixed to the company by the Carpi phenomenon.
«In the first part of the race the sea was quite calm – the explanation of the degree of difficulty of this final brought home in 52’13” 5 – in the second I had to fight with the waves. My headset went off, I missed a couple of trajectories, I couldn’t see the buoys and I felt Acerenza’s hands on my feet. Then I saw the beach full of people cheering for me and I found the strength to bring home the result ». Particular signs of the first gold collected in open water in the fifth major international event since the start of its transition into the two competitive worlds, inaugurated at the Gwangju World Championships in 2019: knowledge of the sea of Ostia and absolute tranquility.
Arrived in three laps, two gold (with the other in the 800 freestyle) and one silver (in the 1500 style), the carousel of medals in these European Championships by Greg between sea and pool still dreams of continuing up to five , like the diver Chiara Pellacani (two golds, one silver, one bronze). She will establish today’s closing “SuperSunday”: first the 10 km, then the mixed 4×1500 relay. –
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