Swami Awards 2022: Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year


World Men’s Open Water Swimming 2022: Gregorio PaltrinieriItalia

After the post-COVID-19 downturn, open water racing has picked up again this year. The major international open races of the year included the World Championships, the FINA Marathon World Series, and the European Open Water Cup.


2022 Swammy Award for Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year Gregorio Paltrinierifrom Italy.

Paltrinieri opened 2022 with a win in the first heat of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Portugal. He won the gold medal in the 10 km race, just two seconds ahead of his Italian teammate Dominic Acrinza. Paltrinieri continued his winning streak going into the second leg in Paris, by just over a second. He skipped the third leg in Canada, and the fourth leg was abandoned, but he finished the series in Israel with another gold medal. He ended up with Hungary Christopher Rasovsky To get the generic serial title.

In addition to his individual efforts in the series, he also contributed to the Italian 4x1500m relay team in three of the four stops. Italy won gold in the first two stages, and took bronze in the last stop in Israel.

At the World Championships in Budapest, Paltrinieri took home three open water medals. After taking silver in the 5k event behind Germany Florian WillbrookPaltrinieri responded by winning the 10k. He and teammate Wellbrock’s Acerenza pulled away at the end of the race to go 1-2, clocking 1:50.56.8 and 1:50.58.2, respectively. Paltrinieri was also a key member of the Italian 4x1500m relay, in which he took home the bronze medal.

Paltrinieri went into the European Aquatics Championships in August, where he won gold in the 5k open water event, defeating teammate Acerenza by just under a second. He also topped the overall standings of the 2022 LEN Open Water Cup, which was held throughout the year. Paltrinieri collected two bronze medals in the home-and-away LEN Open Water Cup, followed by a win on the third leg in Italy, which put him at 2,000 points to win the group overall.

Although this award focuses solely on open water achievements, it’s worth noting Paltrinieri’s success in the pool this year as well. Prior to the World Open Water Championships, Paltrinieri competed in the 800-meter freestyle and 1500-meter freestyle in the pool. After ending up just off the podium in the 800 Freestyle in fourth place, Paltrinieri rebounded with a dominant performance in the 1500. He led the 1500 from the start, taking the gold and running the second fastest ever with a 14:32.80. He finished the year with a pair of gold medals at the Short Course Worlds, winning both the 800 and 1500.

Honorable mentions

  • Florian Willbrook, Germany: Another swimmer who has achieved success in both the pool and in open water, Wilbrook is another 2022 world champion in open water, but in the 5K and 4x1500m relay event. He finished third in the 10 km event, behind the Italian duo. Wellbrock also scored fifth in the 1500-meter freestyle event.
  • Dominic Acrinza, Italy: The other half of the Italian open water duo, Acerenza has firmly established itself on the international open water scene. He took silver in the 10k at Worlds Championships behind Paltrinieri, as well as fourth in the 5k. Like his teammate, he has also been a consistent part of the Italian 4x1500m relay at both the FINA Swimming Marathon and Worlds series. Acerenza also individually won the third leg of the FINA World Series in Canada and in the 10k event at the European Aquatics Championships.

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