Gregorio Paltrinieri broke the oldest world record in swimming in the 1500m freestyle ©Getty Images

Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri broke the oldest International Swimming Federation (FINA) world record today at the European Short Course Championships in Netanya, Israel, erasing the 14-year-old mark in the 1500 metres freestyle.

The 21-year-old clocked 14min 08.06sec to take over two seconds off the 25 metres pool time set by Australian distance legend Grant Hackett, who was also 21 when he clocked 14:10.10 in 2001. 

Paltrinieri was always comfortably clear of his rivals, but was down on Hackett's time at the halfway point before a remarkable finish saw him touch 10 seconds ahead of second placed team-mate Gabrielle Detti.

Norwegian teenager Henrik Christiansen was a distant third in 14.23.60 as Paltrinieri added another major title to his short course and long course world titles.

“I didn’t expect that at all," he admitted.

"Believe me, I’ve even surprised myself.

"Yesterday [when swimming 14:21 in the heats] I felt really good in the water during the heats, but breaking the world record here was never in my mind."

A great day for Italy continued when Silvia Di Pietro, Erika Ferraioli, Aglaia Pezzato and Federica Pellegrini touched in 1:36.05 to win the 4x50m relay, 0.15 seconds ahead of silver medal winners, The Netherlands, as Russia took bronze.

Hungary's Laszlo Cseh was another star in completing a victory for a second successive day ©Getty Images
Hungary's Laszlo Cseh was another star in completing a victory for a second successive day ©Getty Images

Hungary enjoyed another strong day as veteran Laszlo Cseh added the 200m individual medley title to his 100m butterfly win on his 30th birthday yesterday.

He clocked 1:51.36 to finish almost two seconds ahead of Germany's Philip Heintz and Portugal's Diogo Carvalho, who clocked 1:53.21 and 1:53.45 respectively.

Compatriot Katinka Hosszu enjoyed another strong day, winning the 200m backstroke in 1:59.84 before a 100m individual medley victory in 56.67sec.

Russia's Daria K. Ustinova and Iceland's Eyglo Gustafsdottir took silver and bronze in the former race, while Britain's Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and 15-year-old rising Dutch star Marrit Steenbergen placed second and third in the latter.

Another Russian, Evgeny Sedov, claimed an expected 50m freestyle gold in 20.87, although Italy's Marco Orsi impressed by touching second just 0.05 seconds behind.

Sebastian Szczepanski of Poland took bronze.

Elsewhere, Poland's Radoslaw Kawecki completed a backstroke double with a 100m win in 49.64 over Russia's Stanislav Donets, who clocked 50.30, and Britain's European long-course champion Chris Walker-Hebborn, who finished third in 50.35.

Franziska Hentke of Germany won the 200m butterfly crown in 2:03.01, finishing almost a second clear of France's Lara Grangeon and Italy's Alessia Polieri.

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