World indoor high jump champion Gianmarco Tamberi produced the highlight of the Italian Championships in Rieti with a 2.36m championship record on a sunny Sunday evening (26).
Tamberi went over at the first time of asking at his opening height of 2.20m, 2.29m and then 2.33m before clearing a European-leading 2.36m with his second attempt to win his third outdoor title.
He finished off with three good but unsuccessful attempts at an Italian outdoor record, and world-leading mark, of 2.41m.
“If I had jumped less than 2.35m, I would have been disappointed," he said. "My attempts at 2.41m were not at the same level as the tries at 2.40m at the Italian Indoor Championships in Ancona but I had to wait one hour and a half before starting my competition.
“Battling against the best jumpers in the world would have given me more adrenaline but I feel that it is more a competition against myself rather than against my rivals," he added. "I want to jump 2.40m at the European Championships in Amsterdam."
Matteo Galvan broke the Italian 400m record with 45.12 in rainy conditions on Saturday, improving Andrea Barberi’s previous mark of 45.19 set on the same track in 2006.
“I felt well and I expected to set the qualifying standard for Rio," said Galvan, the 2005 world youth 200m bronze medallist. "I really wanted to break the Italian record on the track where I have been training every day since 2013. My career started on this track with a 200m race 10 years ago. I wanted to achieve my goal to qualify for Rio on my home track."
Trost tries out tactics
Former world youth and junior champion Alessia Trost improved her season's best by one centimetre to win the women’s high jump with 1.94m on a wet track on Saturday, being flawless up to and including her winning height before failing with one close attempt at 1.96m and then having two tries at 1.98m.
“I am happy from the technical point of view but I wanted to jump higher," she said. "I asked to raise the bar at 1.98m to have the feeling of jumping this height less than two months before the Olympic Games in Rio. I have made another step forward in the build-up to this big event. I competed (at the IAAF World Challenge meeting) in Madrid and Rieti in two days as I wanted to try two close competitions in preparation for the qualifying round and the final in Amsterdam and Rio."
On a much sunnier Sunday, Eseosa Desalu smashed his previous best of 20.55 to win the men’s 200m in an Olympic qualifying time of 20.31, edging out Davide Manenti and Matteo Galvan who were second and third in 20.44 and 20.50.
In Italian 200m history, only Pietro Mennea (19.72) and Andrew Howe (20.28) are faster than Desalu.
Junior sprint sensation Filippo Tortu, who turned 18 on 15 June, won his first senior 100m title in 10.32 in far from ideal conditions, with rain and a headwind of -1.3m/s.
Tortu grabbed the headlines last month when he clocked 10.24 in Savona, breaking Pierfrancesco Pavoni’s long-standing 10.25 Italian junior record which had withstood all assaults since 1982. Tortu is coached by his father Salvino, who won 15 Italian masters titles in the 60m, 100m and 200m.
European champion Libania Grenot improved her season's best to 51.33 to win her fourth national 400m title.
Veronica Inglese also won her fourth national title in the women’s 5000m in 15:22.45. The 25-year-old had already secured her spot for Rio in the 10,000m with 31:42.02 in Palo Alto last month.
Breakthroughs for Folorunso and Jacobs
European junior bronze medallist Ayomide Folorunso, who hasn’t yet turned 20, improved the Italian U23 record to win the women’s 400m hurdles in an Olympic qualifying time of 55.54, which improved her personal best by 1.14.
Jose Reynaldo Bencosme clocked a season’s best of 49.77 to win his second 400m hurdles title after being hampered by injury problems in the past four years.
Marcel Jacobs, just 21, won the men’s long jump with 7.89m in a competition affected by the rain and wind. Two weeks ago, Jacobs leapt to an impressive wind-assisted 8.48m at the Italian U23 championships in Bressanone.
Jacobs, who is coached by 2001 world indoor triple jump champion Paolo Camossi, was born in El Paso. His father comes from California and his mother is from Desenzano del Garda.
Dariya Derkach, the 2013 European U23 bronze medallist, improved her personal best twice with 14.08m and 14.15m to win the women’s triple jump.
Gloria Hooper scored a 100m and 200m double, clocking 11.38 into a -0.4m/s headwind and then improving her personal best in the longer sprint by 0.03 with 22.89, holding off Grenot who was second with 23.15.
Sonia Malavisi won the women’s pole vault with 4.45m.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF