One more month from today, on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May, Rome will become the focal point for race walking as the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Rome 2016 will be celebrated and to mark the occasion a press conference took place in the Italian capital on Thursday (7).
Italian federation (FIDAL) President Alfio Giomi and the Local Organising Committee Technical Director Massimo Magnani were present, along with the 1980 Olympic 20km race walk gold medallist and two-time world champion Maurizio Damilano, who is the head of the IAAF Race Walking Committee.
Among the athletes present were Italian internationals Antonella Palmisano and Marco De Luca.
"It has been 14 years, from Torino in 2002, from when we staged last staged the IAAF World Race Walking Cup and now we return to hosting this event,” said Giomi.
“Our athletes will have a unique showcase, great public support, and the best possible conditions for obtaining the qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio. For athletics, and walking in particular, it is a great chance to promote the sport. It is also a good opportunity to remind the world of Anna Rita Sidoti (Italy’s 1997 world champion who died last year) and thanks to IAAF President Sebastian Coe, there will be a special award named after her in the women's race,” he added.
Sidoti’s image, set against a graphical depiction of the Coliseum, forms part of the event logo
"Organising an event of this magnitude in four months is a challenge but thanks to a great team effort, and the outstanding involvement of the Municipality of Rome, everything is going the right way,” said Giomi.
The occasion was also used to announce the host nation’s teams for the championships.
“The team will arrive in Rome well prepared,” said Magnani, who is also the FIDAL Technical Director. "Eleonora Giorgi has already won a stage of the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in Dudince, while Elisa Rigaudo and Marco De Luca will compete in Rio Maior on Saturday."
FIDAL for the IAAF
Italian team for Rome
20km: Leonardo Del Tos, Michele Antonelli, Francesco Fortunato, Giorgio Rubino
50km: Marco De Luca, Federico Tontodonati, Matteo Giupponi, Teodorico Caporaso
20km: Valentina Trapletti, Sibilla Di Vincenzo, Eleonora Giorgi, Elisa Rigaudo