Tamberi victory and controversy with the Federation: «Not even invited to the Golden Gala». Mei: «Falling in style» - Corriere.it

Tamberi victory and controversy with the Federation: «Not even invited to the Golden Gala».  Mei: «Falling in style» - Corriere.it

Of Marco Bonarrigo

At the European Games Gimbo Tamberi wins the high jump competition with 2.29m but then causes controversy: «Maybe my presence wasn't welcome». President Mei's reply: "Inappropriate controversy, fall in style"

Very authoritative victory, very hard controversy. Ten months after the triumph at the European Championships in Munich, Gimbo Tamberi also takes the European Cup

and, as captain, drags Italy to the first, historic victory in the 58-year history of the event with a perfect jump at 2.29 meters and an excellent attempt at 2.32 meters, driven by the fans of the whole stadium.

But immediately after having celebrated Gimbo launches a very harsh attack against the Italian Athletics Federation in its role as organizer of the Golden Gala, the prestigious Italian stage of the Diamond League which took place in early June in Florence. «I would have loved to be present at the Golden Gala but I wasn't even invited as a guest and without an invitation I honestly didn't feel like going: I really believe that my presence was not welcome. I was very sorry not to be in Florence, but I still came here for Italy and for my team which deserves so much: we got lost in the important moments, here we were perfect. I won't go into the details of the story, which are many: there were several issues behind my absence".

Behind the controversy an economic negotiation that did not go well: there is talk of an offer of around 60,000 euros for Marcell Jacobs (who withdrew for technical reasons) and half for Tamberi, also an Olympic champion, declined by the Marche native.

Stefano Mei's hot reaction lasts, president of Fidal, present in the stands of the Silesian Stadium in Chorzow, who does not even try to be conciliatory. «Tamberi is one of many in the long list of those not sent to compete at the Golden Gala - replies the former middle-distance runner who has led the Federation for two years - and the point is that since the negotiation was not successful I didn't even think to invite him to attend. It's not nice to talk about money today. Gimbo Tamberi is a monstrous athlete, but make a controversy at a time like that it's a fall in style. If an athlete doesn't agree to compete, I think he should prepare for the other competitions, not see them as a spectator. Today was not the time and place for such a controversy. Tamberi made a mistake, he lacked respect for the team. To many athletes with whom the negotiation was not successful we still sent an invitation email to see the races in Florence, not to Gimbo, I confirm it and I take responsibility for it ». The invitation email, by the way, didn't even reach Sara Simeoni, the greatest glory of blue athletics. Absent from the Golden Gala, Tamberi may never compete in Italy this year.

June 25, 2023 (change June 25, 2023 | 18:39)

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