Simona Quadarella & Gregorio Paltrinieri Book World Title-Defence Tickets (Greg 0.01 Shy Of Cut But … He’ll Be There)
Italy’s World Championships roster grows by the session at nationals in Riccione, today putting Simona Quadarella, 15:59.32, into the title defence of the 1500m freestyle crown, and Gregorio Paltrinieri is likely to defend the 800m title even though his 7:46.01 win was 0.01sec shy of the official Italian cut.
Paltrinieri battled with old sparring partner Gabriele Detti, who came home in second on 7:48. 07. The future was fourth: Lorenzo Galossi, 16 this year, set a new national junior mark of 7:49.76.
At the other end of the sprint-distance spectrum, Alessandro Miressi enters a summer of 100m free fights at Worlds in Budapest in June and Europeans at home in Rome in August, with a 47.88 ticket at the helm of a 4x100m quartet with its sights set on the podium.
Quadarella claimed the 1500m World crown in 2019 in the absence of Katie Ledecky, the American who bypassed the longest race after falling ill in Gwangju. The 800m that brought the American and Italian back together again was an epic in which Ledecky claimed the crown for a record fourth time.
The European champion coached by Christian Minotti for the Circolo Canottieri Aniene, booked her first ticket to Budapest on 8:24.23 at the weekend. Now the 1500m, inside 16mins, is also in the bag. Speaking through the Italian federation, FIN, unrested Quadarella said:
“I managed it by a narrow margin … after the 800 I wanted to get a better time in the 1500. I started out really well, I saw Christian’s signals that confirmed that and though I was tired, I managed to get through it. There are three months to go to the World Championships and there is still a lot of work to do.”Simona Quadarella, photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK
Paltrinieri sailed through to the defence of the 800m crown the claimed in Gwangju back in 2019 three years after becoming Italy’s first Olympic 1500m champion. In the 800m, he holds the European record at 7:39.27 since his Gwangju gold in July 24, 2019.
Now coached by Fabrizio Antonelli and racing for Fiamme Oro and Coopernuoto, Paltrinieri shrugged at the missing 0.01sec (he’d be on the blocks in Budapest) and focussed on the fin of the derby with his friend and former training partner Detti, still coached by Paltrinieri’s long-term mentor Stefano Morini. Said Paltrinieri:
“Lately I’ve spent a lot of time at sea. Finding my rhythm in the pool is more tiring. I’m happy with the time. The worlds cut was the goal. That’s okay for now. I am also happy to have duelled with Gabriele. The 800 is a difficult race for both of us and it is always nice to return to it.”Gregorio Paltrinieri
The pattern of the Riccione race was classic Paltrinieri Vs Detti: Detti sets pace, Paltrinieri overtakes him at half-way but Detti refuses to give up the fight.
Alessandro Miressi , 23, from Turin and racing for Fiamme Oro and CN Torino under the guidance of coach Antonio Satta, holds the Italian 100m free record at 47.45. He clocked that taking 2021 European silver in Budapest in the same pool the Worlds will be staged in this June.
Miressi qualified for the Hungarian mission in 47.88 and emerged to say: “I am very happy. The goal was to go below 48. There is still a little bit of improvement to be made but I am satisfied. A very good start to the season that gives me a boost in perspective.”
Following him into the 4×100 relay at Worlds and then Europeans in August were Lorenzo Zazzeri, 48.45, Manuel Frigo, 48.50, and Leonardo Deplano, 48.68, with Filippo Megli first reserve on 48.77.