For four years, Gregorio Paltrinieri seemed to be unbeatable in the 1500m free, he amassed all titles on offer before his reign was rocked for the first time at the short-course Europeans in 2017 when Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR) finished ahead of him. Romanchuk was ready to repeat that at the long-course Europeans and he was faster than Paltrinieri indeed – only to see Germany’s Florian Wellbrock finishing ahead both of them at the FINA World Championships 2019 in Gwangju.
And the scenario was copied here which set up a historical double: Wellbrock, just 12 days after his brilliant 10km win in Yesou, also clinched a title in the pool, the first swimmer ever to enjoy a golden mix of salty and sweet water in the same edition of the FINA World Championships.
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