“When they postponed the Tokyo Olympics I cried”

Time.news – There is great expectation around the Italian athletics team that from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th March he will participate in the European Indoor Championships. Italy will present itself at the 36th edition of the continental event in the hall with 44 athletes (16 rookies) and above all with perfect gender equality, 22 women and 22 men. The first major event since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic for the ‘Queen of sports’ will take place on Polish soil, at the Toruń Arena Sports Hall of the city of the same name which is located halfway between Warsaw and Gdansk in an area where athletics are very popular. Sara a European with expectations for many athletes watching at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. There will be 733 athletes competing in the four days of Toruń – a record number considering that the previous limit was 615 in Prague 2015 – representing 47 Nations. 17 reigning champions entered, among them the blue Gianmarco Tamberi that two years ago won gold in the high jump. In the women’s long jump Larissa Iapichino, 6.91 strong from Ancona which is a seasonal world record, will try to prevent the Serbian Ivana Spanovic from playing poker, who has imposed herself in the last three editions of the Euroindoor.

‘Gimbo’ Tamberi: “I give my best in the race”

“In training I suck, the competition stimulates me and loads me, it is my merit because I am a born agonist. Since the injury in 2016, the goal that echoed like a mantra has always been the Tokyo Olympics ”. Gianmarco Tamberi says this in an interview with Time.news exactly one week after final of the high jump of the European Athletics Indoor Championships of Torun which will start on Thursday 4 March with the qualifications of his specialty. Tamberi, for all affectionately ‘Gimbo’, started 2021 with an extraordinary shape: a week ago he crossed the bar at 2.35 meters on the occasion of the Ancona Absolutes and, therefore, make it the seasonal world leader.

From the Marche region, 29 years old on 1 June, Tamberi is one of the testimonials of Italian athletics in the world with a world champion gold medal at the indoor World Cup in 2016 and, in the same year, also the European outdoor one and the two absolute Italian records, 2.39 and 2.38 (indoor). A lot is expected from the Euroindoors in Poland also because the season that has just begun will culminate with the Tokyo Olympics, the appointment he has chased since the evening of July 15, 2016. Not just any evening but the cursed evening of Monte Carlo, that of dramatic left ankle injury during the run-up to try the 2.41 in the stage of the Diamond League that preceded the Rio de Janeiro Games.

© Valery Hache / Afp

Gianmarco Tamberi

“2.35 crossed with light (space) between me and the bar makes me dream – he says Tamberi who comes to Torun as reigning European champion -. At the European Championships I expect to repeat the Ancona race which would also mean an excellent placement. That scream of Ancona was a liberation, after almost five years I had to free myself because they have been difficult years, the first two of frustration “.

Gimbo, nicknamed ‘Half-shave’ because he often showed up on the platform with a half beard cut and a half no, it tells the feelings of the last few years. “The days after the injury were a nightmare, I couldn’t understand it, I was crying, it helped me to have the goal of the Tokyo Olympics was a mantra that echoed to me – says Tamberi who, having left the Fiamme Gialle last summer, has been a member of the Atl-Etica San Vendemiano for some months -. Last March 24 when they have decided to postpone the Olympics I confess that a few tears fell on me. I told my dad (Gianmarco, his coach too, ed), ‘I don’t train today’ but the next day I went back to jumping. The desire was not to be satisfied but to return among the very first in the world. The first time that i was really happy after the injury happened in 2018, after 2.30 at a race in Germany, and the second in Ancona a few days ago. The European Championship won with 2.32 in 2019 had given me serenity and happiness but I wanted other measures “.

Speaking of the continental event in the coming days Gianmarco Tamberi says, “It will be a very fun race with the Ukrainian Protsenko and the Belarusian Nedasekau we are the top three in the world of 2021: I’m ready ”.

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