Gregorio Paltrinieri became the second fastest 1500m freestyle swimmer in history as arena enjoyed more success at the European Championships in London.
Ruta Meilutyte won the European 100m breaststroke title for the first time despite being already crowned Olympic and world champion while Sarah Sjostrom clinched her second gold medal of the meet as she defended her 100m freestyle gold.
But it was Gregorio who stole the show in his arena POWERSKIN Carbon-Flex VX by slicing 5.89secs off the European record he set on the way to winning the world title in Kazan, Russia, last summer.
His time of 14mins 34.04secs has only been bettered by Sun Yang from China, who has yet to record a time in 2016, and the prospect of the pair doing battle at the big one in the summer is mouthwatering.
“First of all, this time is incredible,” said Gregorio.
“I can’t believe that I was able to swim so fast here as we have been working very hard in training.
“This is good for my confidence because my goal is a gold in Rio.”
Picking up the Silver medal was Italian teammate and fellow arena ambassador Gabriele Detti, who came second with a time of 14mins 48.75secs.
Ruta won the Olympic title in the very same lane of the same pool four years ago and she enjoyed returning to the scene of some very happy memories, clad in an arena POWERSKIN Carbon-Flex VX and touching in 1:06.17.
“It is great to be here again. It is an absolutely amazing pool, it’s always nice to race here. It is always going to be special for me.
“I am very pleased and I am happy to post consistent times being in hard training and unrested it is very good for me. I am very happy to have given my all and hopefully I will learn some things from this race and carry that to Rio.”
The 19-year-old twice had surgery on the elbow she broke falling off her bike, the last time in December, and although she was pleased with the speed of her recovery, Ruta admits there have been some testing times.
“I have learned a lot in the last couple of years and I definitely could not have done it without my coach’s support.”
Sarah added the 100m freestyle title to the 50m butterfly gold she won on Tuesday.
Her time of 52.82 was good enough for the Swede to claim her third straight title in the event, 0.42secs ahead of another arena swimmer, Ranomi Kromowidjojo.
Sarah said: “To go under 53 seconds is very good, this is a great time here. I think I made my coach very happy especially with the last metres. I did my own race and did not look at the others though it’s difficult to avoid that.”
Coming second has fuelled Ranomi who goes to Rio de Janeiro as defending champion.
“I hate losing, the Olympics will be a new and different race and I am on a good way to Rio.”
Sebastiaan Verschuren secured his first major title, winning Gold in the men’s 200m Freestyle in a time of 1mins 46.02 secs.