Open water swimming: 5km triumph for Paltrinieri (ITA) and Van Rouwendaal (NED)
More Gregorio Paltrinieri, more gold for Italy. The Italian national team continues its record of medals at the European championships by adding another gold and a silver medal among men, and a women's bronze. Italy reach 57 medals in total at Roma 2022, with no rivals among the other nations and collect their 500th medal overall in European competitions.
After two days of postponements due to bad weather conditions in the sea at Ostia, the first day of competition was staged today with the men's and women's 5km.
Gregorio Paltrinieri came out on top in the men's event. The Italian dominated from the very first strokes and commanded the pace of the race, finishing in 52:13.5 for gold. "It was a beautiful race, the first two laps were very good, in the third one the sea level rose a little and you could feel it. Seeing the beach full of people is spectacular. After two days of bad weather the races have finally started and we do them all in two days. It is beautiful," the Italian champion said. Behind him with silver placed his compatriot training partner and friend Domenico Acerenza who said: "I wanted to try to overtake him and I tried until the end on the third lap and there was a bit of a tussle. On Sunday (21 August) we have two races, it will be another good day, new challenges await us and we are happy. We have trained a lot for this event and to be here is wonderful."
The Italian swimmer was in his teammate's slipstream for the entire race, and in the last 200m he attempted the big score by increasing his stroke rate. Paltrinieri withstood the attack with Italy nonetheless scoring yet another Italian double in the podium at Roma 2022. Frenchman Marc-Antoine Olivier completes the podium in a time of 52:20.8
In the women's event, which started shortly after the men's start, Olympic runner-up Sharon Van Rouwendaal clinched gold. The Dutchwoman swam smartly, staying in the group by containing her energy and then forcing in the third and final lap to take her first gold (56:58.7) at the European championships in Rome. Behind her was Spain's Maria De Valdes Alvarez with Italy's Giulia Gabbrielleschi, second until a few metres from the finish, who had to settle for bronze.
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