The extra large August turns the numbers of sport around and promises to make you lose your mind as well. It starts from the countdown, from the time left by two ambitious Europeans with a great desire to take the weight subtracted from the doubled calendar.
Swimming and athletics, in order of appearance, have already experienced the World Championships, radiant in the water and complicated, but far from unhappy on the track, especially refreshing on the platform and on the street and now we move on to the second appointment where in theory the competition to the continent, but in practice the ranks are doubled and ambitions are loaded.
Swimming restarts with 105 athletes called up in the four specialties (pool, bottom, diving and artistic swimming), 58 appearances just to stay at the pool where the technical director Cesare Butini also looks at the documents, because they lead far: “Nine athletes were born after the 2000 and among them there are established names such as Pilato and Ceccon, certainties such as Burdisso so it is no longer a question of bringing people who must grow up. At the World Cup we were hyper-selective and here we gave young people the opportunity to be there, but it is the regulation that helps first and then demands ». At the European Championships, each nation can field 4 athletes per race in battery and only 2 have the opportunity to pass, “for certain specialties, see the 400 freestyle men and the 100 breaststroke women, let’s talk about immediate competition”. You pull and aim high, to beat last year’s record, when in the recovery of the edition hosted by Budapest Italy collected 44 total medals, 27 only in the lane. The hypothesis of going further is tantamount to a dictatorship, but in Europe (and without Russia) Italy today is the superpower, “let’s even play at home.” In Rome in that swimming stadium that saw 43 records fall at the 2009 World Cup and which now calls other companies «it was technological doping, a moment in which our sport lost credibility, but this remains the most beautiful pool in the world, they say everyone considers it magical ».
Athletics went from 60 appearances at the Eugene World Championships to 101 at the European Championships in Munich and the technical director Antonio La Torre refuses to consider it an inflated expedition: “Without all the injured the number for the US group would have been 82, it is the proportion right for what it was and remains our goal of the season ». La Torre does not deny the choices, “even if evaluating a posteriori, with the many ailments and dross of a fabulous and demanding Olympics, perhaps someone could aim straight here”. No name and above all no trial, only the echo of the blue golds of Tokyo returns. Stano was reconfirmed with the success in the 35 km walk. Tamberi came out with a fourth place, but upset and in constant chase on the state of form and Jacobs stopped on the drums. The two heroes of August 1st 2021 remained convalescing, but today both aim to be there. The test in the Hungarian meeting has returned the jumper to victory (2, 24) and now Gimbo adds another test, in the Diamond League, Wednesday, in Monte Carlo. He has just recovered from Covid, but does not want to lose the Europeans: «Bad physical sensations and yet the heart and pride worked. For the first time I believe it ». Jacobs maintains all legitimate precautions after the season in fits and starts but aims straight for the blocks of 100 meters in the semifinal on August 16. Yesterday he tried the departures, several times, with the optojump (tool for measuring the data of the supports and processing them in real time) without accusing any problems and the medical staff does not see any alarms on the horizon. La Torre is convinced that he has both champions and the travel plans are ready: “I don’t imagine leaving without our captain and nothing is easy or obvious, but even thinking of being able to win the 100 meters with Jacobs and the 200 with Tortu gives the size of the current level. Never seen before”. President Mei went further, beyond the medal table of Split 1990, with 5 gold: “I leave Regan’s optimism to him, however it is not impossible”.