Italian sport: The best youth of the old continent

May 18, 2024 220

Athletics is the noblest and purest expression of sport, and its performers, namely the athletes, are as beautiful as can be admired during competitions. Running, jumping and throwing, every competition conveys strong emotions.

Then there is also the fascination of a stadium where at the same time there are athletes who pole vault over 6 meters, who run the 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, who long jump over 8 and a half meters, who run 25 laps of the track running as fast as they can or who throw a javelin to almost touch 100 meters.

Rome, with its Olympic Stadium, will be the next "temple" of athletics with the 2024 European Championships. From June 7 to 12, on the track of Italy's most famous stadium, which has hosted club and "Azzurri" soccer matches since 1953, the rugby Six Nations, international athletics meetings such as the World Championships in 1987, the European Championships in 1974 and since 1980 the Golden Gala that is part of the World Athletics Diamond League circuit, more than 1,600 athletes from 47 European nations will compete in front of the more than 60,000 spectators expected for each day of competition.

The event, which will be televised live worldwide, will feature some of the brightest stars on the international athletics scene. British sprinter Zharnel Hughes, who has announced he will win the 100 and 200 meters. Holland's Femke Bol, world 400-meter hurdles champion; Keely Hodgkinson, Britain's 800-meter superstar; Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Olympic 1,500-meter champion and world and European 5. 000, Armand Duplantis, the Swedish pole vault world record holder and Olympic 100 and 4x100 champion, Italian Marcell Jacobs, originally from El Paso, Texas, who became the fastest man in the world at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Jacobs, since last year has been training in Florida with his new coach, U.S. track and field guru Rana Reider, and will be the star of the European Championships along with Gianmarco Tamberi, the high jumper from Civitanova Marche, in the province of Macerata, who has won everything in his career (Olympics, World Outdoor and Indoor Championships, European Outdoor and Indoor Championships), as no European has ever managed to do in history.

But there will also be many other Italian athletes ready to take on Europe to win a medal. They are established athletes and young hopefuls, many of whom are children of immigrants. One of the most anticipated champions is Yeman Crippa, who was born in Dessiè, Ethiopia, and adopted at the age of 5, along with his 5 siblings by the Crippa family of Milan. Yeman is a middle distance runner and has an incredible sports career, as he holds the Italian record for 7 distances: 3,000m, 5,000m, 10,000m, 5km, 10km, half marathon and marathon! He is a superhero of long distances, an athlete who always runs faster than anyone on the track or on the road.

Another athlete who will be in the spotlight is Zaynab Dosso, who was born in Man, Ivory Coast, and came to Italy at the age of 10 to join her parents who had emigrated seven years earlier. Zaynab is the Italian 100-meter record holder, thus the fastest Italian in history, and she will be one of the most cheered athletes by young people because she has become a symbol of the fight against racism after being insulted in the street because of the color of her skin and reporting the ugly incident in the media.

And then there are the many young blues who are achieving incredible results for their young age. One above all, Mattia Furlani, son of former Senegalese-born sprinter Khaty Seck, who after playing basketball decided to change sports, training in the long jump. Mattia is only 19 years old, and he is world record holder in the long jump in the Under 20 category with 8.34 meters, and vice world indoor overall champion. A true phenomenon of the specialty who, at the European Championships in Rome, will have 60,000 Italians cheering for him and pushing him toward the longest jump of his career and the gold medal!


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