«In the Diamond League I always win but I still feel like a child»- Corriere.it

«In the Diamond League I always win but I still feel like a child»- Corriere.it

Of Gaia Piccardi

The Italian, who has just turned 21, hits a very prestigious hat-trick in the long jump (Florence, Stockholm, Montecarlo) and is looking forward to the Budapest World Cup, in a month's time, as the favorite

26 days from the World Cup in Budapestthe woman to beat in international athletics in the long jump is Larissa Iapichino from Borgo San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy, just turned 21. You have just landed in Rome from Montecarlo, via Nizza. She is driving towards her Florence of hers. She listens, smiles. And, good blood doesn't lie (for those two or three who don't know Mama is our lady of the long Fiona May and Papa Gianni Iapichinotricolor of the auction), does not hold back.

Larissa, after the European indoor silver (6.97 m), a sumptuous outdoor season: three Diamond League matches won out of three (Florence 6.79, Stockholm 6.69, Montecarlo 6.95), plus the European Under 23 gold (6.93). How do you explain her lightness?

«It is the result of many components. First of all, the work on myself with the mental coach: I had to go inside myself and find my dimension away from everything and everyone. Then work in the field with dad, which pays off. Let's add a little more maturity: I grow in experience and awareness. And here are the results."

She says she still feels suspended between the dimension of the champion in training and the child she was.

«I feel caught in the middle, indeed, and I confess that I hope to remain in this situation for a long time. Sport is a serious matter, but we must never lose sight of passion and fun. I see the profession of athletics like this».

In Montecarlo, where she hit a historic trio in the Diamond League (before her, only Gimbo Tamberi), father-coach Gianni Iapichino was not there: why?

«Dad not only trains me, but also when he was free for my race we decided that he should stay at home. It was a kind of test: I wanted to experiment under pressure on my own. He agreed: I see you matured, he told me, the time has come for you to get along without me, let's see how it goes ».

“I got involved, and it was fun. Dad was as if he were there with me and he won't be missing in the other important races of the season ».

With the jump stabilized, how do you push yourself further?

“The perfect jump hasn't been done yet. Everything, in the dynamics of the long, needs to be improved. I'm still so young: I consider myself an athlete under construction. The jump I take today is a suit that has been tailored to my characteristics: the pre-run is used to exploit the dynamism of the feet and speed, my basic qualities. Over time I tried many clothes and this was the one that fit me best. But there's still a lot to do."

How close do you feel to the 7m barrier?

«For women, in the long run, it is the wall to break down. I don't think about it. Or rather: I don't want to think about it, otherwise it becomes an obsession. And obsessions are not productive, as I see it. I'm very close to 7 meters, I dream of exceeding them: when the measure arrives, I'll be happy. But I take it calmly, without worries and without worries».

Is the magical world of the Diamond League as you imagined it?

“It's very beautiful, super inspiring. I compete at a high level with opponents that I used to watch on television and now they are more and more friends. I like to create bonds, get to know the champions of my sport, broaden the circle of experiences and knowledge. In Montecarlo I made friends with Karsten Warholm, the Norwegian phenomenon of obstacles. I'm new to the environment, it always has a certain effect on me when they greet me and stop for a word. But every day that passes I feel more at ease.

Are you still able to balance athletics and exams at the Faculty of Law at the University of Florence?

«Just in these days I thought that I deserve a pat on the back. Private law exam, European U23 in Espoo and Montecarlo: I've been coming from weeks of fire and yet I managed to do everything. I'm committed, I'm organised, I tell myself that I've been good at balancing study and training. And then I like to cultivate friendships: I'm still a 21-year-old girl ».

Done last Tuesday. How did he celebrate?

«In Florence, with a super intimate dinner with friends before leaving for the Montecarlo race».

«Noooo... We were at the restaurant. I have the clear feeling that I will cross the 7-metre finish line sooner than a dinner prepared by me!».


July 23, 2023 (change July 23, 2023 | 07:23)

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