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USA World Cup, the challenge has started between athletes who have grown up over the years Covid

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The first medals are awarded in Eugene (Oregon)


Fresh, promiscuous, difficult to label and eager to be seen, among the athletes who compete in Oregon, 40 percent are under 25 and 51 percent are in their first World Cup, some have already made an Olympics, but all the cards are confused after the cut off seasons. He recovers, chases and discovers himself.

First major event of post-Covid athletics, even if the virus is circulating and has also worried several Azzurri, but we are still in the presence and beyond. It starts with “intimacy”, as Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics, said.

He has carefully chosen the word to justify the size of this big competition delivered to a small town, but the description works. We leave Eugene, basically a university, tightly packed after being spaced and isolated: suddenly mixed, on campus with shared showers and inevitably you see different people, youth who have burned a lot of time but are managed not to get burned.

Athing Mu, gold medal at the Games in the 800 meters, leads this patrol of expert rookies, she does it with a heavy title around her neck, with infinite legs destined to redesign a specialty that for years has been obsessively under the magnifying glass. When Semenya dominated her, there were always those who had to complain and the South African, who today cannot run her distance due to the rules that limit the level of testosterone, perhaps she has never managed to scramble the stopwatch as she could, weighted from doubts. Mu set the American record in ease on this same track, during the trials. But not only is the future expected from her, she is being watched for the turning point. Athletics tries to involve the generation that has never understood it too much and this troop of easy-going who has had to overcome so many obstacles to not stop before starting, has a different approach. Disenchanted. Mu, 20, posts a girlfriend diary on Instagram, without filters and hearts, only she hand in hand walking for a World Cup which, in theory, should put her under pressure. But no.

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Those who have been barricaded when they felt like overdoing it simply appreciate freedom and dare as long as they can.

JuVaughn Harrison, was born in 1999 and after having presented himself at the Olympics with high jump and long jump (two finals collected) returns only with the high, but adds the start of the long. He mixes, with blond dreadlocks, tries and to hell with rigor and academia. Archived the useless sermon of the effort that so much must be done by force and then better not to carry it with all the weight of history.

Italy is on average, it has its rookies, its teenage posts. Like Larissa Iapichino (19 years old) who expects the space to try before having to convince or like Andrea Dallavalle, a triplist with a staff of 17, 35. He is not in the first World Cup, but this is the only one he can jump into. Already qualified in 2017, in London, he has decided to avoid and remain in the junior circuit. Two years later, in Doha, he started injured and just stamped his presence. Then the pandemic and the feeling that fate was constantly shifting the starting line. Now there, with some ambitions and Diabolik’s underwear. They are a good luck charm, but in the brotherhood atmosphere they do not clash. –

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