Turin, ItalyTriple Jump European Indoor champion Simona La Mantia highlighted last weekend’s Italian Championships (25/26) in the Primo Nebiolo Stadium with a solid leap to 14.40 metres, missing her seasonal best by three centimetres.
The Italian Championships took place in Turin to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Unity of Italy, as the Piedmont city was the first Italian capital in 1861. It was the 17th time that the National Championships were held in Turin, the city where the first ever track meeting in Italy took place in 1898.
La Mantia took the lead from the first jump with 14.31 and after 14.16 in the second attempt and two fouls she jumped 14.40 in the fifth round.
“I felt better today than at the Memorial Nebiolo and at the European Team Championships in Stockholm. I feel in good form and I am very consistent. This makes me very happy. I will now compete in two Diamond League meetings in Paris and London and the World Military Champs in Rio de Janeiro,” said La Mantia.
La Mantia is in many respects a symbol of sporting national unity as she is the daughter of Antonino “Ninni” La Mantia from Palermo, a 3000 metres Steeplechase runner in the Seventies and Monica Mutschlechner from Brunico in Sudtyrol, a 800 metres middle distance runner.
Howe to concentrate on sprints
Andrew Howe, 2007 World silver medallist in Osaka, had a night to forget in the men’s Long Jump where he finished second in the Long Jump with 7.68m behind Stefano Dacastello, who took the lead from the first attempt with 7.73 and increased to 7.77 and 7.82 to seal a well-deserved win in front of his home crowd, as he comes from Piedmont.
“I am thinking about the idea to abandon the Long Jump and focus on sprints. I need something that motivates me. I feel that I reached my peak in Osaka when I won the silver medal and I cannot improve anymore,” said Howe.
Howe bounced back successfully in the second day in the 200 metres heats where he cruised to 20.58 easing down in the final metres. In the final Howe clocked 20.52 pushing hard until the end in his second appearance of the season over the distance after his winning 20.31 at the Compeed Golden Gala in Rome.
His choice to become a full-time sprinter is paying off. It’s a sensible decision after the injuries and the surgery on September 2009 which have affected his technique in the Long Jump.
“I was very nervous before the 200 metres after what happened yesterday in the Long Jump. I want to take one year off from the Long Jump and enjoy the sprint. I am aware that in the 200 metres I have less chances to win a medal at World level. I will run the 4x100 with the Italian team in Las Chaux de Fonds in Switzerland on 3 July and I will possibly take part in one individual race. I hope to compete in the 200 metres in Paris on 8th July,” said Howe.
20th title for Donato
Fabrizio Donato, European Indoor silver medal in Paris, won his 20th Italian title (Outdoors and Indoors) with 17.17m which improved his seasonal best. Last week’s European Team Championships winner Fabrizio Schembri took second place with 16.94 in the final attempt.
Upset win for Galvan
Matteo Galvan surprisingly won the 100 metres title in 10.38 into a headwind of -0.7 m/s in an exciting blanket finish beating former European Indoor bronze medallist Emanuele Di Gregorio (10.41), fresh Italian Under 23 champion Michael Tumi (10.44) and 2009 European Indoor silver medallist Fabio Cerutti (10.45).
It was a major upset considering that Galvan is best known as a 200 and 400 metres specialist. Galvan from Bolzaano Vicentino, a former 200 metres World Youth bronze medallist, is trained by former 400 metres sprinter Umberto Pegoraro who also coaches Michael Tumi, the winner of the Italian 60 metres Indoor title.
“I am more focused on the 200 metres, so it’s a surprise. I made a double win for our group after Michael Tumi’s win in the 60 metres indoors. It’s a great result as I underwent surgery last autumn,” said Galvan.
Elisa Cusma, European Indoor bronze medallist in the 800 metres in Turin, won the women’s 1500 metres at a canter in 4:13.38. The time was secondary. What was important for Cusma was to boost her confidence after a winter season ravaged by injury problems. “This race is a turning point for my season. The win is a confidence booster for the rest of my season”, said Cusma.
Silvia Weissteiner, seventh at the World Championships in Berlin in the 5000 metres, won the battle against European finalist Elena Romagnolo thanks to her final kick in the last lap crossing the finish-line in 15:48.94., a morale-boosting performance after a 2010 season ravaged by injury problems.
Vizzoni makes it 24!
Nicola Vizzoni clinched the 24th Italian title of his long and outstanding career crowned by an Olympic silver and a European silver in the Hammer Throw. On a very warm Sunday afternoon the 38-year-old thrower from Tuscany threw to 76.03 and 76.29 and produced a long foul in the final attempt.
“This National title is very important title. I still enjoy competing. I am tired because I have been competing every week since the beginning of May but I am working very well. I may throw again in Madrid (IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge)”, said Vizzoni who is now ranked second in the world seasonal list with 80.29 set at the Coppa Italia in Florence on 5th June.
European Championships finalist Silvia Salis secured the women’s Hammer Throw with a release to 68.59 in the second round ovrtaking Elisa Palmieri’s 66.78 and then improved it to 69.57 in the final round. Salis has already qualified for the World Championships in Daegu thanks to her PB of 71.93 set in Savona in May which ranks her 13th in the world this year.
Marco Vistalli improved his SB to win the men’s 400 metres in 45.88. In the women’s 400 metres Libania Grenot started too fast and faded in the final metres where she was edged by Marta Milani who took the win in 52.29 to Grenot’s 52.32.
Silvano Chesani tied his PB to win the men’s High Jump with 2.28 to beat European Indoor and Outdoor finalist Marco Fassinotti by three cm. Chesani then had a decent attempt at 2.31.
Marzia Caravelli, a surprising European Team Championships third placer in Stockholm last week, broke her PB in the women’s 100 metres Hurdles clocking 13.05, setting the fourth fastest time in history in Italy. In the second day she scored an unprecedented double by winning the 200 metres in 23.42.
Junior hurdler José Reynaldo Bencosme, 2009 World Youth bronze medallist in Bressanone in the 400 metres Hurdles, took his first major Italian title in 50.55, not far from his seasonal best of 50.48 which ranks him second in the European Junior list this year.
Raffaella Lamera cleared 1.88m to win the women’s High jump before a very narrow miss at 1.95.
Jean Jacques Nkouloukidi, an Italian walker of Congolese origin, took the win in the 10,000 metres walking race in 39:44.70 in one of his final tests before the 50 km at the Daegu World Championships.
To put these Championships into future perspective a stand-out result was produced by youth long jumper Anastasia Angioi who leapt to 6.26m finishing runner-up only on count-back behind Tania Vicenzino. Angioi ranks now second in the World Youth list and may be a medal contender for the IAAF World Youth Championships in Lille.
Merihum Crespi, an Italian middle distance runner of Ethiopian origin, took the men’s 1500 metres title in 3:47.53. The race was dedicated to the memory of former 3000 metres European Indoor champion Cosimo Caliandro, who tragically died in a road accident on 10th June in his native town Francavilla Fontana leaving his wife and two young children.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF