Italian Federation of Athletics

August 16, 2022

The blue on the podium in Munich in 2h30: 34: “It’s the medal I’ve been chasing for a long time. After difficult seasons, at 33, it’s never too late ”. Curiazzi fourth and Barcella sixth women

First medal for Italy in athletics ai Europeans from Munich. It is the bronze medal in Matteo’s 35 km walk Giupponi, who conquers the podium in 2h30: 34 after a race conducted in the top positions. Behind the unstoppable Spaniard Miguel Angel Lopez, gold in 2h26: 49, the blue always travels in the group of pursuers while about ten kilometers from the finish there is the attack of the German Christopher Linke who takes the silver in 2h29 : 30. The decisive action for the third place is when there are six kilometers to go with the 33-year-old from the Carabinieri, up to that moment fourth, who manages to overtake the Spaniard Manuel Bermudez (at the foot of the podium with 2h32: 31). For the man from Bergamo, romantically linked to the blue walker Eleonora Giorgi and soon to be a father, he is the first international medal of his career at an absolute level, after having highlighted himself in the past seasons also in the 20 km, finishing eighth at the Rio Games in 2016, under the guidance technique of the ex-fiftyist Gianni Perricelli. Michele does not complete the test Antonellidisqualified at the 21st kilometer, however, Teodorico did not start Caporaso, due to a muscle injury that emerged in the last few days. Blue smiles also for women in the 35 kilometers for two brilliant performances: fourth Federica Curiazzi in 2h52: 06 and sixth Lydia Barcella (2h55: 04), both from Bergamo and protagonists of a comeback race in the final stages. She wins the Greek Antigoni Drisbioti (2h47: 00) who precedes the Spanish Raquel Gonzalez (2h49: 10) and the Hungarian Viktoria Madarasz (2h49: 58).

“It’s the medal I’ve been chasing for a long time!”, Says Matteo Giupponi. “After finishing eighth at the Rio Olympics, I had to struggle with injuries and a partial tendon detachment. But I continued to believe in it, thanks to those close to me like my girlfriend Eleonora Giorgi, the coach Gianni Perricelli, the family and all the staff who follow me. At 33, it’s never too late. I like the new distance of 35 kilometers, I worked hard on it in training, to prepare for this European Championship. The race started at a rather slow pace, but when Lopez went away I stayed in the group that started with the forced pace after the twentieth kilometer, to stay fourth. Then I saw that the other Spaniard Bermudez in front of me was in a bit of trouble and I put him in the sights, before passing him for the bronze. Now I think of the son who is coming, but next year Eleonora will return and therefore we can both aim for the World Championships and also for the Paris Olympics ”. Bergamasco from Villa d’Almè, born in 1988, had already revealed himself in the youth categories: silver at the junior European Championships in 2007 on the 10,000 march and then bronze in the 20 km at the European U23 Championships in 2009. For several seasons he devoted himself above all to the 50 kilometers , while in October 2020 it dropped into the “twenty” at 1h19: 58. This year he won the Italian flag in the 35 km in mid-January in Pescara in 2:33:45, but with a drop in the last part of the race.

MEN

10 KM – At the seventh kilometer the Spanish Miguel Angel Lopez breaks the delay and goes on the run. Behind the Iberian, already European and world champion of the 20 km in the two-year period 2014-15, alone there is the Swedish Perseus Karlstrom, who at the World Championships in Eugene won the bronze on both distances. The gap between the two contenders is seventeen seconds after 10 kilometers (43:31 against 43:48). In the group of pursuers at just over a minute (partial of 44:36) Matteo Giupponi and Michele Antonelli move well. The other blue Teodorico Caporaso instead gave up due to a muscle problem in the rectus femoris that emerged in the last few days.

20 KM – Lopez’s advantage increases, back in action on 35 km three weeks from tenth place at the World Championships, who grinds partitions of just over four minutes per kilometer. From the middle of the race onwards Karlstrom’s delay widens: at the twentieth 1h43: 33 for the Spaniard and 1h26: 05 for the Swede, to about a minute and a half. In the group, the Finnish Aleksi Ojala tries an extension, but is then reabsorbed. In full battle for the third position there is therefore the Giupponi from Bergamo who passes in 1h26: 50 after 20 km in the company of the German Christopher Linke, the French Aurélien Quinion and the Spanish Manuel Bermudez, with the other Iberian Marc Tur not far away ( 1h26: 53). Antonelli loses ground, tenth in 1h27: 48.

30 KM – The Swedish Karlstrom gives up, who stops at the 23rd km and then starts again, thus losing three positions. Shortly after the French Quinion was blocked in the “penalty zone” for three and a half minutes, on the third warning received by the judges. Linke, Bermudez and Giupponi, who has two “reds” on the scoreboard, therefore have to compete for second place. At the 29th km Giupponi overtakes Bermudez and thus moves to the provisional third place, while the partial time trials become heavier for everyone also due to the rising temperature. This is the situation after 30 km: Lopez (2h05: 33), Linke (2h07: 55) two minutes and twenty-two seconds, Giupponi third in 2h08: 41, fourth Bermudez (2h09: 07) who is almost half a minute behind ‘light blue. Instead, the news of the disqualification for Antonelli arrives at the twenty-first kilometer.

WOMEN

10 KM – In the lead from the beginning the Hungarian Viktoria Madarasz (48:37 at the tenth kilometer) with a few seconds of margin against the opponents. Behind her the couple formed by the Greek Antigoni Drisbioti and the Spanish Raquel Gonzalez (48:46), then the Polish Olga Niedzialek (48:56). Less than a minute from the leader, Federica Curiazzi and Lidia Barcella from Bergamo travel together, ninth and tenth in 49:30.

20 KM – Halfway through the race, a trio in command is formed with Drisbioti and Gonzalez (1h36: 48 at the twentieth kilometer) who reach Madarasz and then detach it (1h36: 52 the part of the Magyar). We have to wait more than a minute for the fourth place of the Polish Niedzialek (1h38: 05). Always ninth Curiazzi (1h39: 05), eleventh Barcella who at the 15th km loses contact with the other blue (1h39: 54).

30 KM – Federica Curiazzi recovers positions, bypassing the Ukrainian Havrylyuk just beyond the twentieth kilometer, then also the Czech Durdiakova until she reaches the Ukrainian Loseva, to become seventh. The progression of the blue is inexorable, coming out at the distance: after 30 km she is fifth in 2h28: 26, but Lidia Barcella also climbs with decision, sixth in 2h29: 42 in the partial detection. You take off Drisbioti (2h23: 33), further behind Gonzalez (2h24: 15) and Madarasz (2h24: 56).


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Matteo Giupponi on the podium (photo Colombo / FIDAL)

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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