Fukuoka : , July 20 (IANS) Former Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri anchored Italy to the mixed 4x1500m open water relay title at the World Aquatics Championships, here on Thursday.
Paltrinieri, the men’s 1,500m gold winner at the 2016 Rio Olympics, swam a sizzling leg to bring Italy home in one hour, 10 minutes and 31.20 seconds.
The victory ruined Germany’s clean sweep of all five open water gold medals. Paltrinieri, 28, thus claimed his sixth gold and 14th medal of any color across six World Championships, Xinhua reported.
“We are really happy about this performance,” Paltrinieri said. “It was a great race for every one of us. We really wanted to win, so it was our first time on the top of the podium in the relay.”
“The race was a little bit more difficult today because of the sea. It was a little bit wavy but anyway, we trained for that all year long. So we were prepared to swim in any condition,” he added.
Hungary finished second in 1:10:35.30, and Australia settled for bronze in 1:11:26.70.
Germany, led by women’s double gold winner Leonie Beck, finished fourth in 1:11:26.90.
Florian Wellbrock, who won both men’s 5km and 10km events, did not feature in the relay race.