Fifty years in 200 meters: from Munich 1972, with those Impossible Games where Borzov, Black and Mennea are the last light before a massacre, to Munich 2022, a city that has learned to remember without fear of collapsing and can run free . From the bronze of Mennea to the ambitions of Filippo Tortu who imagines his Monaco from the Golfo Aranci, in Sardinia where he prepares a European in which to leave his mark. And to whiz forward he goes back in time.
In retreat in the Sardinian house after a World Cup where he has trovato the confidence with the 200 meters and felt lost inthe relay, at the first exit after the Olympic gold medal. What he took home?
“All. The bad surprise of the relay and the awareness of the 200 meters, a distance that up to the USA was an unknown and in which I now feel competitive. It was the fourth exit, in the first three I shot and missed the target, I got it at the World Cup ».
Where is his target in the 200?
“The exit from the curve”.
Has an explanation been given for the 4×100 so below expectations?
«As sometimes the perfect match comes out, the reverse also happens and you don’t hit one. We were wrong. All. However, negative situations must serve if it is not an experience that is an end in itself, it will be useful “.
Is the second leg, the one Jacobs left empty after the injury, more difficult than it looks?
“I’ve been doing the last one all my life, I didn’t have the mechanisms. If it happened again, I would be prepared ”.
Where do Eugene’s 200 meters position her on the grid for the European Championship which starts on August 15th?
«There are 6 or 7 of us to play for the medal and it is not yet known whether the Israeli who went under 20” at the Under 20 World Cup will be at the start. I don’t see one who kills the race. The goal is not to make mistakes if I can and the others are faster. .. I was going to say it will be easier to accept, but in that case I would hardly digest. I leave to win ».
Is this the first time this has happened?
“No. It is the thought of every race, even if I have Lyles and Knighton close by and I know what the times are, but the attitude is to try then if it doesn’t happen I don’t fall out of the clouds. They are already phenomena, but if I start beaten since I think about it in my room it’s over ».
At the Olympiastadion in Munich Mennea won bronze in the 200 meters at the 1972 Games.
«My cycle of memory begins, these Europeans, in the place where Pietro revealed himself, and the next ones in Rome in the stadium where Livio Berruti won the Olympics in 1960. It has an effect, it motivates. I hope to honor and be inspired: a corner like my friend Livio, who sent me messages at the World Championships between one round and another, and the straight with Mennea’s finish would be ideal ».
What does Munich 1972 represent for you?
“The sadness. Obviously for the tragedy, but also, seen from afar, for those Games that will remain only a black hole. You say Munich 1972 and you think of the bombing, you say Beijing 2008 and you think of Bolt and Phelps. It is right that this is the case, it is necessary to remember, but it is also very unhappy that an entire Olympiad has been buried ».
Italy, ideally, aims for the 100 and 200 meters titles and to put the Olympic gold relay back on track. We are suddenly a country of sprinters?
«It is difficult to guarantee, we go for 3 medals then maybe we return with zero but the truth is that we really play them, they are not prohibited. By now the mentality has changed, we no longer set limits ».
Did you start the new course, with the shoulder to the record of 100 by Mennea then lowered by Jacobs?
“If I have given my contribution, I am happy. Maybe yes, something with those first 100 meters of breaking happened. Davide Re told me that my time had served as a motivation to go under 45 ”in the 400 meters. I am convinced that all the blue results are linked: Gimbo and Marcell led to Palmisano and Stano and so on. The more Italy wins, the more Italians aim for success. Without hesitation ».
Do you think that the nostalgic phase, stop at Mennea and Simeoni, is over?
“For my romantic spirit, nostalgia is essential and that charm remains. If this era leaves a mark like this, we’ll find out in 30 years ”.
Do you keep your retro tastes or have you added contemporary touches?
«I entered The Weekend which is conquering me, but to hear it carefully, it too has an Eighties sound so …».
Even the photo on his whatsapp profile is Eighty, he fucks him in the national team: he does a lot of Mundial.
«But that is our rite. It’s me and the doctor Billi più Pusceddu, the physiotherapist, who spends weeks looking for a partner before each event. I always lost pre-race and then reached the final, in Eugene we were evenly stuck and I missed the target by 3 thousandths ».
On his return he found himself without a government in a divided Italy.
“I’m under a concrete bell, not a glass one. In September, I reconnect with the world. Now, I just play cards, train and read “Il muto di Gallura”, a story that revolves around a well-known Sardinian bandit. By now it seems to me that I too am living in the nineteenth century ».
She seems immune to parent-trainer torment.
«Well, I don’t see the problem, my father isn’t on the pitch, my coach is there and I think he’s the best in the world for me. If we exclude the 2017 World Championships, in London, with the 100 meters in the cold under the storm, in every season, I gave my best to the key event. So he didn’t miss one. He studies, updates, he knows me, improves me. If he found out that there is someone who can handle me better, he would pack my bags. But I don’t think it’s possible ».