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FINA Marathon Swim World Series 2022 – Gregorio Paltrinieri

Setubal Soundbites | Open water elites give insight into what to expect in the Marathon Swim World Series opener

Gregorio Paltrinieri and his Italian teammates struck a relaxed-yet-excited tone for the Setubal opener. The Rio 2016 1500m freestyle Olympic champion and open water bronze medallist from last summer’s Tokyo Games comes into the opener in full-on training mode but he sounded like he’s satisfied with his basic condition and wants to find some clean water to swim away from the congested melee that can be open water pack racing.

It’s the beginning of the World Series in Setubal. How are you feeling coming into this season?

It’s pretty exciting to be here. The first time I came to Portugal, I came here to Setubal for a vacation with friends of mine, but for racing, it’s the first time. I’m glad to be here. The course is going to be challenging (chuckling) I guess. When we tried it today, there is a lot of current. It’s going to be cool.

 When you came here for vacation, did you get in a little swimming as well?

No, I came for surfing – no swimming. But it was beautiful; we were around Lisbon and all around. It was super cool.

Everyone has told me that this open water race, this is going to be tough. There’s current, sometimes there’s waves. It could take us 1h30 or it could take us 2h30. We don’t know, but we see tomorrow.  

Will that affect how to feed and fuel for this race?

Yeah, it depends. We’ll see. I’ll have my coach on the pontoon so I will decide based on what I’m feeling while I’m swimming. We see. I hope it’s 1h30!

With this being the last international race going into the FINA World Championships, how does this factor into your preparations for Budapest?

We’ve kept training – a lot – during this period. This is actually training for me. We’ve been doing a lot of competition in open water in Italy, including twice in the past two weeks. After this, we will rest for a little bit and head to Budapest. And then after the world championships, we will have the Europeans in Rome. That’s home. That’s going to be cool.

What are you thinking about heading into tomorrow’s competition? How do you like these conditions?

You know, it’s going to be tough. Sometimes, I prefer it to be flat when there’s no waves because that’s more similar to the pool. But, you know, this is the real condition. Real open water conditions. For me, I don’t want to be between a lot of guys, a lot of people, a lot of fighting, so I’ll try and stay on my way. And we’ll see.

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