Yadisleidy Pedroso at the Italian championships (© Giancarlo Colombo/FIDAL)
Yadisleidy Pedroso provided the highlight of the three-day Italian Championships by winning the women’s 400m hurdles with her seasonal best of 55.09 in Trieste on Sunday (2).
It was the third fastest time of Pedroso’s career, who finished well clear of Marzia Caravelli who clocked 56.65. The Cuban-born hurdler is coached by her husband Massimo Matrone, who also trains Olympic bronze medallist Yasmani Copello. At last year’s Olympic Games in Rio Pedroso reached the semifinal after a season ruined by serious injury. She set the Italian record with 54.54 in Shanghai in 2013.
Eseosa “Fausto” Desalu won his second consecutive national title in the 200m with a wind-assisted 20.32 (+2.2 m/s) beating Antonio Infantino (20.51) and Lodovico Cortelazzo (20.78). The 23-year-old Italian sprinter clocked the third fastest Italian time in history with 20.31 when he won the national title last year in Rieti. Only Pietro Mennea and Andrew Howe have run faster at the national level. Desalu grew up in a family of Nigerian origin in Casalmaggiore near Cremona and became an Italian citizen in 2012 when he turned 18. He has a passion for heavy metal music and plays the drums in a band.
Lorenzo Vergani won an exciting neck-and-neck battle in the men’s 400m hurdles against former World U18 bronze medallist José Reynaldo Bencosme in the final straight setting his personal best with 49.36. Bencosme came close to his personal best finishing second with 49.45.
Irene Siragusa won the women’s 100m title with 11.35 just 0.03 shy of her recent PB, ahead of Italian 60m indoor champion Anna Bongiorni, who also set her PB with 11.39. Gloria Hooper edged out Siragusa by 0.06 in a close 200m final clocking 23.14 (-2.3) into a strong headwind.
Italian walking star Eleonora Giorgi made her comeback to competition with a win in the 10,000m race walk in a solid personal best of 43:56.95, which improved her previous record of 44:33.56 set in Milan in 2013. Giorgi, who was competing for the first time since the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, underwent surgery on her knee last winter. The Italian 20 km record holder beat Valentina Trapletti, who smashed her personal best by two minutes to 44:04.94. Giorgi and Trapletti are currently fourth and fifth on the world list led by another Italian Antonella Palmisano, who won the European Cup in Podebrady and will be among the medal contenders at the IAAF World Championships in London.
“I feel emotional. I have not competed since Rio 2016,” said Giorgi. “I ended a training camp in Vipiteno and I am happy to start my season with the Italian title. I hoped to walk a faster time, but I got through six difficult months after surgery. This win is a starting point ahead of the World Championships. It gives me a lot of confidence. I am already pre-selected for London but I want to take part in the World Championships only if I am able to fight for top positions.”
Filippo Randazzo, 2015 European junior bronze medallist and European indoor finalist last winter, cliniche his first long jump title with 7.95m. Randazzo, a 21-year-old jumper from Catania, came to the fore last winter when he set his indoor PB with 8.05m at the Italian Indoor Championships in the first competition ever in which three Italian jumpers broke eight metres indoors.
Randazzo began with football but was advise by his Physical Education to turn to athletics. He fell in love with the sport at age 10 when he watched the 2007 World Championships final in Osaka where Andrew Howe won silver with an 8.47m national record. Randazzo lives in San Cono near Catania but travels 35 km a day to Valguarnera near Enna to train under the guidance of Carmelo Giarrizzo.
In the women’s long jump Laura Strati confirmee her solid form by adding the outdoor title to her indoor one with a 6.59m leap. Strati is now based in Madrid where he works as translator.
Federico Cattaneo won his first 100m title with a wind-assisted 10.24 (+2.1 m/s). Lorenzo Perini, European junior silver medallist in 2013, took the 110m hurdles title in a wind-assisted 13.54 (+3.0 m/s). Micol Cattaneo won her fifth Italian title in the 100m hurdles in 13.20 and her first since the birth of her daughter Rebecca in 2014.
Davide Re clinched the men’s 400m in 46.07 ahead of 18-year-old Vladimir Aceti, who narrowly missed his PB with 46.40 consolidating his leading position on the European U20 list three weeks before the European U20 Championships in Grosseto.
Yusneisy Santiusti lived up to her favourite role by winning the women’s 800m title with 2:02.80.
Marco Lingua, who has already qualified for the World Championships in London thanks to his seasonal best of 77.73m, clinched the men’s hammer throw with a sixth round throw of 73.84. Another Italian throwing veteran Zahra Bani won her 13th career title in the women’s javelin with 59.01m missing her seasonal best by 27 cm.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF