U.S. swimmer Jaeger sets American record in 1500 free, takes silver

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The world record in the men’s 1500 freestyle nearly fell Saturday night. But while Sun Yang’s mark of 14:31.02 from four years ago still stands, there was no doubt who the class of the field was.

Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri fell off the world record pace over the final 100 meters of the race, but that wasn’t enough for any other swimmer to catch him for gold. Paltrinieri finished the race with a time of 14:34.57, nearly five seconds better than the time posted by silver medalist Connor Jaeger. The American finished in 14:39.48, which established a new American record in winning his first Olympic medal.

WATCH: Italy’s Paltrinieri takes gold in dominant fashion

WATCH: Men’s 1500 medal ceremony

Italy also took bronze, with Gabriele Detti finishing in 14:40.86. American Jordan Wilimovsky finished fourth with a time of 14:45.03.

WATCH: Team USA inspires Connor Jaeger’s medal-winning swim