Milan’s historic Arena Civica Gianni Brera, also known as the “theatre of athletics”, opened the doors to athletics again on a hot and humid weekend (26-28) which played host to the Italian Championships.
The humidity and high temperatures which rose well above 35°C took their toll on the results, but it did not detract from the enjoyable atmosphere in the historic Napoleonic venue, where 11 World records have been broken.
Marzia Caravelli clinched her fourth consecutive national 100m Hurdles title in 13.01, just 0.06 slower than her season’s best. European indoor bronze medallist Veronica Borsi, who broke Caravelli’s national record with 12.76 earlier this year, pulled out of the National Championships because of a slight injury but she still intends to compete at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow with Caravelli.
“I am happy for the title but I am disappointed with the time. There were not the ideal conditions today. I have not found the perfect race today,” said Caravelli, a finalist at the 2012 European Championships.
On day three of the championships Caravelli won her second gold medal, clinching the women’s 200m in a personal best of 23.16, beating European under-23 200m and 4x100 bronze medallist Gloria Hooper (23.21).
Caravelli, who has only this year started training full time after working for many years as a teacher for deaf children, improved her 200m lifetime best by more than a quarter of a second. It’s the third event in which she has set a personal best this year, having also set PBs in the 60m, 60m Hurdles and 300m Hurdles.
Trost and Schembri take jumps titles
Alessia Trost, the newly-crowned European under-23 champion, won her first outdoor senior High Jump title, but had to settle with a clearance of 1.90m. Trost, the World junior champion, had a clean sheet until 1.90m before three close attempts at 1.95m.
“I struggled to recover from the European Under-23 Championships in Tampere both physically and mentally,” said Trost, who is currently ranked fifth in the world this year with her Italian under-23 record of 1.98m. “After the great indoor season I increased the speed and the strength and for this reason I had problems with the run-up. I feel a bit tired because it was very hot but I am confident for Moscow.”
Triple Jump stars Daniele Greco and Fabrizio Donato are slightly injured and pulled out of the National Championships to avoid any risks before the World Championships in Moscow. But in their absence, Fabrizio Schembri came close to 17 metres with his season’s best of 16.98m, his only valid jump of the competition and a repeat of his triumph at the same venue in 2009 when he jumped 17.24m.
Yadisleidy Pedroso, a former Cuban who has become Italian citizen since her marriage to her coach Massimo Matrone, took her first Italian title in 55.26 – less than a second slower than the 54.54 Italian record she set earlier this year at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting.
In the men’s event, Eusebio Haliti notched up his first Italian title and dipped under 50 seconds for the first time with 49.85.
Marco Fassinotti cleared 2.27m on his second attempt to win the men’s High Jump ahead of Gianmarco Tamberi who had to settle for second place with 2.25m.
Alessio Guarini, who is coached by 2001 World indoor Triple Jump champion Paolo Camossi, broke eight metres for the first time in his career to win the Long Jump title with 8.00m, four years after his first triumph at the same venue in 2009.
Former World youth 200m bronze medallist Matteo Galvan, who is now training in the USA with coach Loren Seagrave, clocked the second-fastest time of his career to win the men’s 400m in 45.71, 0.12 shy of his 45.59 PB set this year when winning the Mediterrenean Games.
The men’s 200m final, which was dedicated to Pietro Mennea, went to 2012 European finalist Diego Marani in 20.77.
Delmas Obou, fifth at the 2011 European Under-23 Championships, edged out former European indoor silver medallist Fabio Cerutti and Simone Collio in the men’s 100m to win in 10.37. It was Obou’s second national title of the year after winning at the Italian Under-23 Championships in Rieti in a lifetime best of 10.27.
Former Olympic bronze medallist Elisa Rigaudo took the 10,000m race walk in 43:44.96, a respectable time on a hot and humid evening on the first day of the championships, beating rising star Eleonora Giorgi. 23-year-old Giorgi made her breakthrough last year when she finished 14th on her Olympic debut in London in 1:29:48 in the 20km race walk.
The men’s 10,000m race walk title went to Giorgi’s boyfriend Matteo Giupponi in 40:40.42.
Former Olympic and European silver medallist Nicola Vizzoni, who will captain Italy’s team for Moscow, won his 24th national Hammer title (counting both summer and winter championships) with 74.10m on his final attempt.
Nicole Svetlana Reina, who finished fifth at the recent IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, smashed the Italian youth record to win the women’s 3000m Steeplechase in 10:13.89 after a dramatic final sprint.
Italy will be represented by a large team of more than 50 athletes at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow. Trost and Greco will carry the biggest hopes of an Italian team which features a mixture of young athletes and experienced athletes like Vizzoni and Donato.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF