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Sport Open Water Swimming
NOC Italy   
Born05 Sep 1994 in Carpi, ITA
Height1.91 m
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Partner Letizia Ruoli
Police Athlete
English, Italian
Higher education
Political Science - LUISS Guido Carli University: Rome, ITA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
His parents introduced him to swimming at age three months. He began competing at age six.
Club / Team
Fiamme Oro: Italy
Name of coach
Fabrizio Antonelli [personal], ITA, from 2020
Training Regime
He trains six days a week, at least five hours daily in the pool.
General Interest
Greg, Frecciarossa di Carpi [Frecciarossa is a high-speed train in Italy] (swimbiz.it, 05 Aug 2018; arenaitalia.it, 06 Mar 2013)
Watching NBA basketball, architecture, design. (Twitter profile, 15 May 2021; amica.it, 08 Apr 2021)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the 1500m freestyle at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 03 Nov 2020)
Most influential person in career
Coach Stefano Morini. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 11 May 2020)
Hero / Idol
Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, US basketball player Michael Jordan. (corriere.it, 17 Aug 2017)
He sustained a hyper-extension to his right elbow during the 2019 US National Open Water Championships in Key Biscayne, FL, United States of America. (poliziadistato.it, 09 May 2019)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
"I always have the same music playlist in my ears. I listen to it in the car when I go to workouts and then mentally recount it in the pool. It's a mix of hip hop, rap and R&B, strictly in English. It relaxes me and charges me at the same time. Swimming is a repetitive sport. I happen to have my head underwater for five hours a day. I couldn't last that long if I didn't sing to the music." (amica.it, 08 Apr 2021)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Competitive malice is part of the game, but fairness must not fail, as well as respect for teammates and opponents." (amica.it, 08 Apr 2021)
Other sports
He has also competed in open water swimming and won silver in the 5km mixed team relay at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. He also won gold medals in the 5km and 10km individual events and in the 5km mixed team relay at the 2021 European Championships in Budakalasz, Hungary. (SportsDeskOnline, 08 Jun 2021; repubblica.it, 12 May 2021)
To win three gold medals at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and to become the first swimmer to win gold in swimming and open water swimming at the same edition of the Olympic Games. (SportsDeskOnline, 08 Jun 2021; Olympics Facebook page, 18 May 2021; olympicchannel.com, 14 Aug 2020; gazzetta.it, 12 May 2020)
Other information
After winning gold in the 1500m freestyle at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, he announced his intention to add open water swimming to his competitive schedule ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. His inspiration was Tunisian Oussama Mellouli, who won gold medals in the 1500m freestyle at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and in the 10km open water event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. "I need stimulation and I would be bored doing another four years of only 800m and 1500m. Open water is intriguing and exciting. I love swimming in the ocean more than in the pool. It's cool. It allows you to see incredible places. In open water, maybe you also have a strategy but it never goes like you think it will, because you are fighting with people and there are waves. It's also a long race, like a Formula One race, and you can change tactics while you're swimming." In 2020 he signalled his intention to swim in three races at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. "At the Olympics I will do 800, 1500 and 10km open water. It's a tour de force that I already tried to tackle at the world championships [in 2019]." (Olympics Facebook page, 18 May 2021; repubblica.it, 09 Jul 2020; vanityfair.it, 02 Aug 2019; oasport.it, 13 Sep 2018; swim4lifemagazine.it, 27 Dec 2016)

In October 2017 he moved to Australia to train with Australian freestyle swimmer Mack Horton. He returned to Italy in early 2018. "It was a beautiful experience, it was fun. I needed to get out from the normal routine I had in Ostia [Italy]. I wanted to make a change and it was the perfect time to do it." (milanosportiva.com, 09 May 2018; oasport.it, 27 Sep 2017)

In 2017 he published an autobiography titled 'Il Peso Dell'Acqua' [The Weight of Water]. (gliamantideilibri.it, 24 Jan 2018)

 Competition Highlights
Olympic Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
4 2021 Tokyo, JPN 1500m Freestyle 14:45.01
2 2021 Tokyo, JPN 800m Freestyle 7:42.11
1 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 1500m Freestyle 14:34.57
5 2012 London, ENG 1500m Freestyle 14:51.92 
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
1 2019 Gwangju, KOR 800m Freestyle 7:39.27
3 2019 Gwangju, KOR 1500m Freestyle 14:38.75
3 2017 Budapest, HUN 800m Freestyle 7:42.44
1 2017 Budapest, HUN 1500m Freestyle 14:35.85
2 2015 Kazan, RUS 800m Freestyle 7:40.81
1 2015 Kazan, RUS 1500m Freestyle 14:39.67
6 2013 Barcelona, ESP 800m Freestyle 7:50.29
3 2013 Barcelona, ESP 1500m Freestyle 14:45.37
Heats 2011 Shanghai, CHN 1500m Freestyle 15:22.03
World Championships Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
2 2018 Hangzhou, CHN 1500m Freestyle 14:09.87
2 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 1500m Freestyle 14:21.94 
1 2014 Doha, QAT 1500m Freestyle 14:16.10
2 2012 Istanbul, TUR 1500m Freestyle 14:31.13
European Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
2 2021 Budapest, HUN 1500m Freestyle 14:42.91
2 2021 Budapest, HUN 800m Freestyle 7:43.62
3 2018 Glasgow, SCO 1500m Freestyle 14:42.85
2 2018 Glasgow, SCO 800m Freestyle 7:45.12
1 2016 London, ENG 1500m Freestyle 14:34.04
1 2016 London, ENG 800m Freestyle 7:42.33
1 2014 Berlin, GER 800m Freestyle 7:44.98
1 2014 Berlin, GER 1500m Freestyle 14:39.93
2 2012 Debrecen, HUN 800m Freestyle 7:52.23
1 2012 Debrecen, HUN 1500m Freestyle 14:48.92
European Championships Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
1 2019 Glasgow, SCO 1500m Freestyle 14:17.14
2 2017 Copenhagen, DEN 1500m Freestyle 14:22.93
Heats 2017 Copenhagen, DEN 400m Freestyle 3:44.70
1 2015 Netanya, ISR 1500m Freestyle 14:08.06
Heats 2013 Herning, DEN 400m Freestyle 3:47.83
8 2013 Herning, DEN 1500m Freestyle 14:50.08
1 2012 Chartres, FRA 1500m Freestyle 14:27.78
World Cup Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
24 2013   Overall  
1 2013 Berlin, GER 1500m Freestyle 14:30.74
3 2013 Doha, QAT 1500m Freestyle 14:39.18
8 2013 Doha, QAT 400m Freestyle 3:51.36
1 2013 Dubai, UAE 1500m Freestyle 14:36.25
8 2013 Dubai, UAE 400m Individual Medley 4:20.87
8 2013 Dubai, UAE 400m Freestyle 3:47.32
1 2013 Eindhoven, NED 1500m Freestyle 14:27.65
5 2012 Stockholm, SWE 400m Freestyle 3:48.25
3 2012 Stockholm, SWE 1500m Freestyle 14:54.32
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
6 2019 Gwangju, KOR 10km 1:48:01.0
2 2019 Gwangju, KOR 5km - Team Relay 53:58.9
European Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
1 2021 Budakalász, HUN 5km 55:43.3
1 2021 Budakalász, HUN 10km 1:51:30.6
1 2021 Budakalász, HUN 5km - Team Relay 54:09.0
World Series
Rank Year Venue Event Result
6 2021   10km  
3 2021 Doha, QAT 10km 1:52:07.9
  2020   10km  
5 2020 Doha, QAT 10km 1:50:01.0
33 2019   10km  
4 2019 Doha, QAT 10km 1:52:26.1
9 2018   10km  
2 2018 Abu Dhabi, UAE 10km 1:53:01.4
5 2018 Doha, QAT 10km 1:52:43.1
3 2018 Qiandaohu, CHN 10km 1:56:35.30