Tortu, Desalu and Patta on exam 200: "Mamma mia, goosebumps".  And Stano studies ...

From Tokyo to Rome, not only Tamberi, the 4x100m gold relay runners, orphans of the injured Jacobs, compete over a different distance

They said goodbye yesterday in the Stadio dei Marmi named after Pietro Mennea during the training session on the eve of the match. Filippo Tortu has seen Nethaneel Mitchell Blake, recovered in the last golden stage of the Olympics and also on stage today at the Olimpico in the Golden Gala. The presence of English will also bring a bit of Tokyo to Rome. After all, that handful of seconds will forever remain a lucky memory.

But the golden moment of the National Stadium, the day of the triumph with the loudspeaker of the Olympic facility broadcasting “Magic Nights” and the curve of the Azzurri athletes who sang “Volare” in a stadium without spectators, will live above all in the whole challenge. inside the blue quartet. “It will be a great thrill to race with my relay team mates – says Filippo Tortu – The atmosphere of the Olimpico is always special. I am convinced that it will be a wonderful race”.

And yes, because if Jacobs is sentenced to the grandstand, with Tortu there will also be Lorenzo Patta and Fausto Desalu, who says: “I never want to make predictions. I’m just saying I can’t wait to compete.” Also because Desalu has been missing for a long time from the Golden Gala: “In 2013, I ran the 100 juniors, then in 2015 and 2016 the 200”. Tortu also collected three participations, one out of 100 (10 “04 in 2018, immediately after 9” 99 in Madrid with which he improved the historic record of Pietro Mennea before Jacobs’ prodigious 2021) and two out of 200 (20 “34 in 2017 and 20 “36 in 2019). A separate discussion must be made for Patta. He is making his debut at the Olimpico. “I only raced at the Stadio dei Marmi, the 2016 student championships, practically when I was just starting. Oh my, I just walked in, what goosebumps,” he said yesterday, glancing at the track. The debut also has another value. “You know that I am also a Roma fan. I came to the Olimpico to see two matches, but I have never experienced it from below.” Now is the time for the first time.

And what a first time. The 200, but it was already known from the declarations of the weeks after Tokyo, became the main competitive horizon for almost the entire relay (even Jacobs has them as a target but for the European Championships in Rome in 2024). For Desalu they have been for some time: in Rabat, on Sunday, he hit third place with 20 ”54. Lorenzo Patta has earned his place in the relay with the 100, but the 200 have always been in his heart. Ten days ago he ran them against the wind in Sassari, breaking down the 21-second wall for the first time and running in 20 ”98. “But I was not satisfied”. Tortu, on the other hand, made his debut with a 20 ”41 (windy) in Doha on the 200, which have returned to his reference stage. Today’s cast, the 200 is an invitation-only competition that’s not part of the Diamond League’s annual schedule, it’s important but not prohibitive. However, there is a name that makes your wrists tremble, that of Kevin Bednarek, the silver of Tokyo with 19 ”68 just six cents from De Grasse’s gold. Of course the American stopped at 20 ”21 this year, but he will certainly be the spotlight of the race.

The pure gold of the slogan of this edition of the meeting is not just about speed and Gimbo Tamberi. In the absence of Antonella Palmisano, stopped in the pits due to physical problems, there will be her training partner and coach, Massimo Stano. Which we interrupted yesterday while he was studying for his next university exam. “Contemporary history, I was reading about the Truman doctrine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. I’m on my fourth exam this year, it’s not going badly.” Stano will compete in some way away from home, in the sense of distance of course: “On the 3 kilometers the big favorite is the Spaniard Diego Garcia Carrera, it will be tough for me. But it will be nice to experience great emotions at the Olimpico anyway.” Stano is not only studying contemporary history, he is also studying the plans for the next major events: “At the Eugene World Championships I will do the 35 km race, the race that replaced the 50, while at the European Championships in Munich the 20. Then at the World Championships in Budapest in 2023 , I could try to dub … “.

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