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Updated : October 4, 2018

Italian Race Walking Team Pre-Championships Training Camp

In October, 2017, Saitama Prefecture, Tokorozawa City, Waseda University, and the Italian Olympic Committee concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on Pre-Olympic Games Training Camps for Italian athletes in Tokorozawa City.

As a step forward for sport-related initiatives between Italy and Saitama, eight members of the Italian Race Walking Team visited Tokorozawa City for a pre-Championships Training Camp in preparation for the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships to be held in China.

Italian Race Walking Team at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships (May 5 - 6, 2018)

Results of the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships

Massimo Stano, one of the athletes who participated in the pre-Championships Training Camp, was awarded the Bronze medal in the Men's 20 km race walk.

Additionally, the men's and women's teams both won silver team medals, thanks to the success of Massimo Stano and Francesco Fortunato in the men's 20 km event, and Antonella Palmisano in the women's 20 km event.

These exceptional results are a testament to the determination and passion of the Italian athletes, who performed in the Championships with great enthusiasm, delighting the supporting people of Tokorozawa City.

To all the athletes from Italy, Congratulazioni! (Congratulations!)

Send-Off for the Italian Race Walking Team! (April 26)

Following the successful completion of the pre-Championships Training Camp, the Italian Race Walking Team departed Japan for China. Prior to their departure, the team received an album filled with photographs taken during their stay, given as a commemorative gift and memento of the team's time spent in Saitama for training. They smiled happily while looking through the collection of cherished memories.

フォトアルバムを見る選手たち

Team Coach Patrizio Parcesepe and athlete Antonella Palmisano were also kind enough to sign autographs for us. Promising to do their best, the athletes were then seen off by us waving the Italian National Flag.

 

Exchange Event for the Italian Race Walking Team with Students from Mihara Elementary School (April 20, 2018)

About the Exchange Event

Seven members of the Italian Race Walking Team were welcomed to Mihara Elementary School in Tokorozawa City by 100 enthusiastic students waving the Italian National Flag and clad in green, white, and red shirts to match the National Flag's colors. The school resounded with the students' excited greetings of "Benvenuti!" ("Welcome!").

 イタリア競歩選手とハイタッチする赤色のTシャツを着た子どもたち

The athletes were elated to receive such a passionate welcome and delighted in taking pictures together with the students.

スマートフォンで自撮りする選手たち

The students cheered the athletes on whole-heartedly with shouts of "Forza!" ("You can do it!"). The team coach, Patrizio Parcesepe, thanked us for such a warm welcome and expressed his desire to return to Tokorozawa for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The team was also presented with a banner expressing the enthusiastic support of the students, emblazoned with the message You Can Do It, Italy!

横断幕を贈られたチームと子どもたちの様子

Next, the athletes ran a lap of the school playground together with the students, who tried to keep up with the athletes, but alas, even the fastest sprinters were no match for the Italian athletes' speed!

子どもたちと歩き出す選手たち 校庭を歩く選手と走る子どもたち

Finally, everyone came together for a commemorative group photograph and the day drew to a close after a very happy and fun-filled exchange event, packed with smiles and laughter. Backed by the support of the students, the Italian team was sure to perform spectacularly at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships. Forza!

Welcome Reception for the Italian Race Walking Team (April 12, 2018)

About the Welcome Reception

Five athletes from the Italian Race Walking Team participated in the welcome reception, where they were welcomed by eager supporters brandishing the Italian National Flag.

The Governor of Saitama Prefecture, Kiyoshi Ueda, had the honor of giving the welcoming address to the Italian Race Walking Team athletes, expressing gratitude to the team on behalf of all of Saitama. Governor Ueda also remarked on the delight and pride of everyone in Saitama Prefecture upon being chosen as the host for Italian pre-Games Training Camps, creating a strong bond between Saitama Prefecture, Tokorozawa City, Waseda University, and Italy. The Governor also highly commended the Italian Race Walking Team on their resounding success as one of the foremost teams in the world, having won 12 medals in past Olympic Games (including 5 gold medals), and went on to convey his sincerest wishes for their continued success in the future. Governor Ueda concluded his remarks by reiterating the ongoing dedication of Saitama Prefecture as a whole towards ensuring the success of Italy in the upcoming the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships.

The Governor's address was followed by an introduction of each of the Italian Race Walking Team members. Subsequently, Antonella Palmisano spoke on behalf of the team, conveying her gratitude for the warm welcome and expressing her hopes that participating in 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games pre-Games Training Camps in Tokorozawa City will cause the city to become like a second home to her and her teammates. She received a warm round of applause for her kind words.

Next, reception attendees were treated to an amazing performance by Kazuya Akaogi, winner of the individual acrobatics division of the 2012 World Pizza Games, with many spectators snapping pictures and videos of the entertaining display.

Subsequently the students of Akikusa Gakuen High School gave a presentation regarding their involvement in the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project, which aims to produce medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games using discarded materials. The presentation was conducted in a quiz format allowing all the reception attendees to participate. The entire event was a resounding success and the quiz was so interesting and full of humor that the Italian Race Walking Team requested a copy of the presentation!

At the end of the reception, Governor Ueda presented each of the Italian athletes with an aodaruma painted in the Italian National colors, while conveying his best wishes for their future success. The Italian Race Walking Team also presented Governor Ueda with an official Italian Race Walking Team backpack.

 

Finally, the fun-filled reception came to a close with a commemorative group photo.

Saitama Prefecture's mascot, Kobaton, and Tokorozawa City's mascot, Tokoron, were also in attendance, and were extremely popular with the Italian team members.

Outline of the Welcome Reception

(Date and Time)

April 12, 2018 (Thurs) 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

(Venue)

Ecotoko Farmers Cafe at Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park (1-13 Namiki, Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture)

(Attendees)

  • Italian Race Walking Team Coach, Patrizio Parcesepe, one team manager, five athletes
  • Governor of Saitama Prefecture, Kiyoshi Ueda
  • Mayor of Tokorozawa City, Masato Fujimoto
  • Professor of Waseda University School of Sports and Sciences, Isao Muraoka

Outline for the Pre-Championships Training Camps

Purpose

To help the Italian Race Walking Team maintain peak condition leading up to the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships to be held from May 5 (Sat) - May 6 (Sun), 2018 in Taicang, People's Republic of China.

Period

April 11 2018 (Wed) - April 26 2018 (Thurs) (16 days total)

Participants

 

  •  Coach Patrizio Parcesepe
  •  Manager Francesco Tamborriello
  •  Christian Bruno (Physiotherapist)
  •  Athlete Massimo Stano
  •  Athlete Francesco Fortunato
  •  Athlete Mariavittoria Becchetti
  •  Athlete Andrea Agrusti
  •  Athlete Antonella Palmisano

Training Location

  1. National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities - Surrounding Area (4-1 Namiki, Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture)
  2. Tokorozawa Municipal Gymnasium Training Room
  3. Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park