Paltrinieri to debut in Eilat
The LEN European Open Water Swimming Cup kick-off leg returns to Eliat, Israel this year. The season’s first race is highlighted by the open water debut of a world-class pool swimmer, Gregorio Paltrinieri. The Italian is the reigning Olympic, World and European champion in the 1500m free and now sets his eyes on making some splash over 10km.
This season will see a newly branded series in open water swimming from LEN. The European Cup is about to visit iconic venues like the Red Sea in Eilat, the Navia Estuary or the Copenhagen canals and will involve new hosts like Barcelona and Bracciano where the final will take place in September.
The first leg on Sunday will witness the grand debut of a great champion, Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA). “It’s a long-time desire to compete in the 10km” Paltrinieri said upon making the announcement to race in Eilat. “Water is my everlasting passion. When I started to train in Ostia as a young kid, I had practices both in the pool and in the sea, I competed in both disciplines and that time I didn’t foresee which one I would choose.”
Paltrinieri said that the past Olympic cycle was devoted to pool swimming. “Aged 17 it was an obvious choice to concentrate on pool swimming and not risk my preparations with anything else though I’ve never given up to test my borders in the future” he added. “Now I feel the time has come to try something new. The trainings for the 1500m prepare me for the longer distances as well and I don’t want to miss any opportunity in my career. Though I have to admit that while I’m pretty curious and enthusiastic at this moment, I’m also worried a bit as the Italian open water team is pretty strong just as the other rivals. It’s going to be a great competition, great rivalry but I’m pretty much looking forward to it!”
Besides Paltrinieri, two experienced Russian competitors, Kirill Abrosimov and Evgenii Drattsev highlight the men’s event – Drattsev is among the few open water swimmers who clinched medals in all three distances (5-10-25km) at the World Championships. The large Hungarian squad is led by Mark Papp who, alongside Drattsev, is the other Olympic participant from Rio.
The men’s race will feature 41 swimmers while 20 women will line up for the start in Eilat. The prize money for the best ones in the overall ranks amounts 21,000 euro, to be distributed at the end of the series.
2017 European Open Water Swimming Cup – Legs
Leg 1 – Eilat (ISR), 26 March (10km)
Leg 2 – Barcelona (ESP), 1 July (10km)
Leg 3 – Navia (ESP), 5 August (7.5km)
Leg 4 – Copenhagen (DEN), 26 August (6km)
Final – Bracciano (ITA), 16-17 September (5 and 10km)