Pál Joensen (born 10 December 1990) is a Faroese elite swimmer. He was born in Vágur, Suðuroy, Faroe Islands. In August 2012 he moved to Copenhagen, where he swims at the Danish National Training Centre. He is now swimming for Aalborg Svømmeklub and for the Faroe Islands. Earlier, before moving to Denmark, he was training in a short pool 25 m, because there was no 50 m pool in the Faroe Islands. He was training with Susvim (Susvim is short for Suðuroyar Svimjifelag, which means Suduroy Swimming Club). His trainer in the Faroe Islands was Jón Bjarnason. In August 2010, Joensen won silver in the men's 1500 m freestyle at the 2010 European Aquatics Championships in Budapest with the time 14:56.90, which was new Nordic record. In 2011, at 2011 World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai he swam with the second best time of all the heats and made it for the final in the men's 800 m freestyle. He set a new Nordic record with the time 7:45.55. One of Joensen's biggest dreams was to swim at the Summer Olympics, and that dream did come true. He was competing at the 2012 Summer Olympics for Denmark in three events: 400 metre freestyle, 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay and 1500 metre freestyle. In December 2012, he won his first medal at a World Swimming Championship, when he took bronze in the men's 1500 metre freestyle at the 2012 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) in Istanbul. It was the first medal for his country, the Faroe Islands, which was won at a World Swimming Championship. Joensen holds many of the national swimming records of his country; and these records are not only in freestyle. On short course he holds most of the records in breaststroke, butterfly and individual medley too.
At the 2007 World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne, Australia, Joensen competed in five individual events – 50 m, 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m freestyle and 1500 m freestyle. He did not proceed past the heats stage in any of the events.
At the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome, Italy, Joensen competed in all three events – 400 m, 800 m and 1500 m. He did not proceed past the heats stage in any of the events. Joensen became number 17 in 1500 m freestyle with the time: 15.21.37, number 18 in 800 m freestyle with the time 8:01.50 and number 22 in 400 m freestyle with the time 3:48.93.
At the World Cup in Moscow on the 7 November 2009 Pál Joensen won the men's 1500 m freestyle (14:32.64) on short course (25 m) beating his own record at 14:39.99 set in December 2008, and he also broke the Nordic record, which was set by the Dane Mads Glæsner at the World Cup in Stockholm 2008.
At the World Cup in Stockholm on the 11 November 2009 Pál Joensen won silver in the men's 1500 m freestyle on short course (25 m). His time was 14:32.59, which was new Nordic record, he broke his own record, which he sat 4 days earlier in Moscow.
On the 15 November 2009 Pál Joensen won silver in the men's 1500 m freestyle on short course (25 m) at the World Cup 2009 in Berlin. His time was 14:32.15, which was new Nordic record, he broke his own record, which he sat 4 days earlier at the World Cup in Stockholm.
Pál Joensen participated in the European Short Course Swimming Championships in Istanbul, 2009 in 400 M Freestyle and 1500 M Freestyle. Joensen qualified for the final in 400 M Freestyle, but he cancelled the final. Joensen swam the final in 1500 M Freestyle and became number 7; his time was 14:38.00. Gold winner in the Men's 1500 M Freestyle on Short Course was Jan Wolfgarten from Germany, who swam with the time 14:20.44, silver winner was Federico Colbertaldo from Italy and bronze winner was Mads Glæsner from Denmark. Glæsner swam with the time 14:26.74, which was new Nordic Record. Joensen sat the Nordic record in the Men's 1500 M Freestyle on Short Course in November 2009, but in Istanbul in December 2009 Glæsner beat Joensen's Nordic Record.
Pál Joensen participated in 800 M freestyle and 1500 M freestyle for men on long course in Durban at the Telkom SA National Aquatic Championships 2010. He won gold in 800 M freestyle with the time 7:58.92. Chad Ho from South Africa was number two with the time 8:09.04 and John Ellis from South Africa was number three with the time 8:14.99. A few days later on 17 April 2010 Joensen swam the final in 1500 Freestyle for men, he was number three with the time 15:21.84. The winner was Heerden Herman from South Africa with the time 15:06.75 and number two was Mark B. Randall with the time 15:09.75.
Pál Joensen participated in the British Gas Great London Swim 2010, which was held on 3 July 2010. He came in as number four with the time 16:47.45. The winner was Thomas Lurz from Germany with the time 16:42.57. Number two was Ky Hurst from Australia and number three was Petar Stoichev from Bulgaria. This was the first time Pál Joensen tried to compede in open water swimming. He normally competes in indoors swimming pools.
Pál Joensen participated in the 2010 European Aquatics Championships in Budapest. On 10 August 2010 he swam the men's 1500 m freestyle with the second best time, which was 15:04.05. Samuel Pizzetti from Italy swam with the best time 15:03.32. The final was on 11 August 2010. Sébastien Rouault from France won gold, Pál Joensen won silver, he swam his best time ever and sat new Nordic record. Gold, silver and bronze winners all swam managed to swim sub-15:00 minutes. The results for the three first swimmers:
Pál Joensen won two silver medals at the World Cup in Berlin in October 2010. On 30 October 2010 he won silver in the men's 400 meters freestyle (on short course); his time was 3:44.45. The winner was the German swimmer Paul Biedermann who swam with the time 3:42.31. On 31 October 2010 Joensen won silver in the men's 1500 meters freestyle (on short course) with the time 14:47.39. The winner was Job Kienhuis from the Netherlands, he swam with the time 14:40.11.
Pál Joensen won two gold medals in Moscow at the 2010 FINA Swimming World Cup. He swam the finals in 400 meters freestyle on short course on 2 November 2010 with the time 3:45.56, which placed him number one. Silver winner was the Russian Evgeny Kulikov with the time 3:45.83, and Alexandr Selin won bronze with the time 3:46.29. The following day, on 3 November 2010, Joensen won gold in the men's 1500 meters freestyle with the time 14:50.66. The Russian Sergey Bolshakov won silver with the time 14:53.85 and Sergiy Frolov from Ukraine won bronze with the time 14:54.27.
Pál Joensen swam the finals in the men's 400 meters freestyle at the 2010 FINA Swimming World Cup in Stockholm on 6 November 2010. He won bronze by swimming 3:46.13. Paul Biedermann from Germany took gold in the time 3:41.27 and Yannick Agnel from France won silver in the time 3:41.42.
In July 2011 Pál Joensen participated in 800m and 1500m freestyle at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai. On 26 July he made it to the finals in 800m freestyle with the second best time 7:45.55 which was new Faroese and Nordic record. On 27 July he swam the final, he was number five with the time 7:46.51. On 30 July he swam in the second heat in the men's 1500m freestyle, he swam with the sixth best time af all the heats in the time 14:56.66, which was new Nordic and Faroese record and 15 seconds under the qualification time for the Olympic Games 2012. He was one of the eight who made it to the final. On the following day on 31 July 2011 Pál Joensen swam the final. He was number four, he swam in the time 14:46.33, improving the Nordic and Faroese records from the day before with more than 10 seconds. Joensen has qualified to the 2012 Summer Olympics by swimming 25 seconds under the qualification time, which is 15:11.83. He will swim for Denmark at the Olympics, because the Faroe Islands are not recognized as an independent country and therefore the islands can't participate at the Olympics.
On 15 and 16 October 2011 Pál Joensen participated in two events in World Cup in Stockholm, Sweden. He won gold in the men's 1500 m freestyle in the time 14:52.00 and bronze in the men's 400 m freestyle in the time 3:45.50.
In December 2011 Joensen participated in the 2011 European Short Course Swimming Championships, which was held in Szczecin in Poland. He qualified for the finals in 400 m freestyle with the time 3:42.37. He became number four after swimming the final in 400 m freestyle with the time 3:41.05. Joensen swam in the fastest heat in the men's 1500 m freestyle, he became number five with the time 14:37.83.
In March 2012 Joensen participated in Danish Open in Bellahøj in Denmark. On 22 March 2012 he won gold in 400 m freestyle in the time 3:46.84, which was new Faroese record. He also qualified for the 2012 Olympics in 400 m freestyle. Before that he had already qualified in 1500 m freestyle. On 23 March 2012 he won gold in the men's 200 m freestyle with the time 1:48.98 which was new Faroese record.
Pál Joensen competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in three events: 400 metre freestyle, 4 x 200 metre freestyle relay and 1500 metre freestyle. He competes for Denmark at the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Faroe Islands can't participate at the Olympics. His results until now:
In December 2012 Joensen competed at the World Swimming Championships on Short Course in Istanbul. On 14 December he competed in the men's final in 400 metre freestyle. He placed 6th in the a time of 3:42.23. On the last day on 16 December 2012 he competed in the men's 1500 m freestyle. He originally took bronze in the time 14:36.93, the Danish swimmer Mads Glæsner won in the time 14:30.01, Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri took silver in the time 14:31.13. Drug testing later revealed that Glæsner committed a doping violation at the meet, and was stripped of his medals in Istanbul in June 2013, elevating Joensen to silver in the 1500M.
However, upon appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Glaesner's 1500-meter freestyle gold medal was reinstated based on the fact that a test after that race, two days after his initial positive test following the 400-meter free, was clean. He still forfeited the 400-meter freestyle bronze, which he did not appeal. This means that Joensen's medal position was returned to bronze.
Joensen's bronze medal was his first medal from a World Championship, it is also the first time a swimmer from the Faroe Islands has won a medal at a World Championship in swimming.
In May 2014 Joensen first won his gold medal number 100 in swimming in individual swimming competitions. A few minutes later he won one more gold medal reaching 101 individual gold medals won in the Faroese Championships. He won 15 gold and one silver at the 2014 Faroese Swimming Championship.
Pál Joensen competes at the 2014 European Aquatics Championships in Berlin in August 2014. He competes in 1500 m freestyle and in 800 m freestyle. On 20 August he took silver in 1500 m freestyle in the time 14:50.59. The winner was Gregorio Paltrinieri, who sat new European record in the time 14:39.93.
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