Italians win gold, bronze in 1500m freestyle; Jaeger takes silver

Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri is embraced by compatriot Italy's Gabriele Detti after winning the men's 1500-meter freestyle final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

(NBCOlympics.com) — Gregorio Paltrinieri jumped out to a huge lead in the 1500m freestyle and held onto it for his entire 14 minutes, 34.57 seconds of the race. His victory marked Italy’s first gold medal in the event.

His countryman Gabriele Detti took the bronze six seconds behind; Team USA’s Connor Jaeger broke an American record with his time of 14:39.48 which was good enough for silver. He improved to the silver medal from his sixth place finish at the London Olympics.

Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri and United States' Connor Jaeger competes during a men's 1500-meter freestyle heat during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri and United States’ Connor Jaeger competes during a men’s 1500-meter freestyle heat during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Jaeger’s teammate Jordan Wilimovsky, who will also compete in Tuesday’s open water 10k race, took fourth place. Wilimovsky was the 2015 world champion in the marathon swim.

China’s Sun Yang, the 2012 Olympic champion in the 1500m freestyle and the gold medalist in 200m freestyle in Rio, did not qualify to advance to the eight-man final from the preliminary heats, where he finished 16th.

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