ENTRY LISTS | GOLDEN GALA PIETRO MENNEA | agg. 15 maggio 2023
“Brave is the right word! The level of the opponents is astronomical, being alongside these characters is a source of pride”. Samuele Ceccarelli is not afraid of anything. The man of surprises (Ancona Italian indoor, Istanbul Europeans indoor, do they say anything?) has no fear, only the right and proper respect. For everyone. For the Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs, for the world one Fred Kerley, for the world bronze medalist Trayvon Bromell, the stars of the 100 meters at the Pietro Mennea Golden Gala on June 2 in Florence. Protagonist of the press conference to present the 'entry list' at Palazzo Vecchio, the European indoor champion says he is ready for the challenge: "I think I deserved this chance - highlights the Atletica Firenze Marathon sprinter - it is the consequence of a path that I just started and I want to continue for a long time. It will be a way to compare myself with myself and with opponents of the highest level. I will use the opportunity to 'understand' athletics. And maybe to try to have my say. My life has changed a bit, and even if I live as if nothing happened, the mere fact of attending the Golden Gala means that something has happened." It is the meeting director Marco Sicari who completes the list of sprinters competing at the Ridolfi, for what he defines as "an epic challenge, which is having great international resonance": the Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala, seasonal world leader with 9.84 last Saturday, the South African Akani Simbine, fourth at the Tokyo Games, the Jamaican Daegu 2011 world gold medalist Yohan Blake, the Sinhalese Yupun Abeykoon. "I had a shiver down my spine when I heard Blake's name pronounced - admits the 'Cecca' - they are “hefty” names, but they stimulate me even more".
The councilor for sport of the Municipality of Florence, Cosimo Guccione, is proud: “Florence is considered, after Rome, the second home of athletics in Italy - he declares - We have a facility, the Ridolfi, which in 2023 will celebrate its first 20 years: no better way to celebrate this important milestone than by hosting the Golden Gala. I'm sure we'll have a packed stadium: let's bring the world's best in athletics to Florence. I thank FIDAL for this. And I thank the Tuscany Region for the support”. “Many athletes, such as Larissa Iapichino, Leonardo Fabbri and Samuele Ceccarelli, have blossomed in Florence - recalls the councilor - the administration is convinced that supporting sports clubs with the constant improvement of public facilities is essential. For this reason, in recent years, we have modernized all the athletics tracks in our city and in June, at the same time with the Golden Gala, work will start on the new Sorgane track and the new indoor track at Ridolfi. We want to update our facilities making them more efficient both for amatour sport and for athletes who need to achieve great performances".
FIDAL president Stefano Mei highlights how unmissable the Florence show is: “Two years ago it was an emergency situation, at the peak of the Covid period, with few enthusiasts who were able to attend the Golden Gala at the Ridolfi. This year, however, the stadium will be full and we will have important matches, full of champions. We are happy for this extraordinary moment in our athletics: the boys have given us two dream years, without interruption, and I can say that I am very proud of the Azzurri. In recent international events we have reached the top of the classifications: in this Golden Gala, on June 2nd, we can line up athletes who aspire to victory, and it is not obvious at all, because it has not always been like this in history". At the table there was also CONI Toscana president Simone Cardullo, who brought greetings from president Giovanni Malagò: “This is a region full of activities and the Golden Gala takes us back to the glorious period of the meeting in Florence which in the 1970s and 1980s saw many champions in our city. I am sure that Florence will be able to respond massly".
“Tickets sale is going very well - underlines the meeting director Marco Sicari - the two grandstands have been sold out for some time and there are only a few hundred tickets left for the two corners. In detail, we will have 7 defending champions from Tokyo in individual competitions and 7 world champions from Eugene in individual ones. Four of these phenomena have made a double, Kipyegon, Cheptegei, Mihambo, Moon. It is an extraordinary level and we are proud of it. We must thank all the partners of the Golden Gala and we can officially announce that Frecciarossa will be with us as Official Train".