Leo & Catalin, the stars

Leonardo Fabbri e Catalin Tecuceanu. were expected to be the Grifone Meeting stars on May 23rd in Asti. The shot putter (22,91) came 4 cm close to his recent national record, with an impressive series that included two more throws beyond 22 mt. .

The half miler, fresh of his personal best in London (1:44.22), chose to return to the track immediately to capitalize on his extraordinary form. Wise choice: in Asti, Tecuceanu finished in 1:44.01, reclaiming the seasonal best European performance, which had been taken by British athlete Jake Whightman (1:44.10) and Frenchman Yanid Meziane (1:44.13). “In Europe, we are all performing very strongly,” said Catalin after the race. “But now I go into races much more aware. I feel good because I have worked well, I know my worth, and I am no longer afraid of anyone. The European Championships in Rome are two weeks away, and I am going there to achieve something great.”

Tecuceanu, who ran the first lap in less than 51” behind pacemaker Michele Tricca (49.97), was defeated by Kenyan Aaron Kemei Cheminingwa. (1:43.56, seasonal world record). Both will meet again at the Paris Games. “We will think about the Olympics after the Europeans,” says Tecuceanu, who doesn’t hide his ambition to break the Italian record held by Marcello Fiasconaro, 1:43.7 in 1973. “When I run, I never think about the time I need to achieve,” he says, “but now we do are almost there.” Francesco Pernici also performed well in 1:45.61 for a fifth-place finish behind Olympic silver medalist Ferguson Rotich (1:45.07) and British runner Callum Dodds (1:45.36).

On the other hand, Samuele Ceccarelli’s performance wasn’t as great: 10.50 in a 100 mt race won by Cameroonian Emmanuel Eseme in 10.10 (-0.1 m/s wind). In the paralympic 100 meters dash, world and paralympic champion and record holder Ambra Sabatini clocked 14.68 seconds in the T63 competition.

The rest of the meeting offered some excellent middle-distance performances: in the women’s 5000, close race between Ugandan Ester Chebet and Federica Del Buono. The Italian kept pace with the African until the final 200 mt, finishing second with her new PB: 15:00.90, twelve seconds faster than her previous record (4th place in italian all time list). The Ugandan won in 15:00.18. In the women’s 800 meters, behind an all-Kenyan podium—with Naomi Korir achieving a 1:59.19 PB, the Italians improved too: Laura Pellicoro finished in 2:02.68, and U20 Gloria Kabangu in 2:02.69. In the men’s 1500 meters, won by South African Tshepo Tshite in 3:36.66, Italians Abdikadar (3:37.04) and El Kabbouri (3:38.28, PB) performed well. . . .

A thunderstorm affected the results in the 400 meters (46.22 for Ukrainian Pohorilko, 52.45 for Dutch Lisanne De Vitte), high jump (Tavernini, 1.82), and women’s triple jump (Zanon, 13.37). Portuguese Gerson Balde (7.89) won the long jump competition entitled to Primo Nebiolo, and Virginia Scardanzan (4.25) claim victory in the pole vault, tied with Sonia Garavisi.

The meeting concluded with an excellent performance by Italian and U20 European pole vault champion Simone Bertelli, who improved his PB to 5,61. .