Swimming: Paltrinieri clocks second-fastest 1,500m time to set European record

Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy on his way to win the gold medal in the Men's 1500 m Freestyle Final at the LEN European Aquatics Championships 2016 in London.
Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy on his way to win the gold medal in the Men's 1500 m Freestyle Final at the LEN European Aquatics Championships 2016 in London.PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (REUTERS/AFP) - World champion Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy swam the second-fastest men's 1,500 metres of all time on Wednesday to win gold at the European Championships.

The 21-year-old defending champion was in a class of his own as he won in 14min 34.04sc to shatter his own European record, set at last year's World Championships in Russia, by a massive 5.63sec.

Only China's Olympic champion Sun Yang, who won gold in the same pool in 2012 with a world record of 14:31.02, has swum faster in the distance.

Paltrinieri was inside the world record pace between the 1,100m to 1,400m split times.

His team-mate Gabriele Detti took a distant silver in 14:48.75 with Ukraine's Mykhaylo Romanchuk finishing third in 14:50.33.

Other winners on Day 3 at the Aquatics Centre included Ruta Meilutyte, the Lithuanian who has won Olympic and world titles but never a European gold in the 100m breaststroke before victory in the same lane of the same pool where she won at London 2012.

Sarah Sjostrom successfully defended her 100m freestyle title, Sebastiaan Verschuren of the Netherlands won the 200m freestyle and Andreas Vazaios of Greece took the 200m individual medley.