Paola Pigni, the queen of Italian middle distance running at the age of 75 –

was a legend of Italian sport. Paola Pigni, bronze medal at the ’72 Olympic Games in Munich in 1500, former manager of FIDAL and CONI, who died in Rome of a sudden illness. He was 75 years old. On the morning of Friday 11 June he had participated in the ceremony for the Food Education Festival in schools in the presidential estate of Castel Porziano, which was also attended by the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella. Pigni with the representation of the Legends of Sport and Health. Immediately after she felt ill, she was immediately transported to the Sant’Eugenio hospital where she died.

The beginnings

Paola Pigni remembers above all a magical night in Milan, when in 1969 she set the world record of 1,500 meters (4’12”4) overtaking the Dutch Maria Gommers. Yet she was born as a sprinter (12”9 in the 100 and 27.0 in the 200 to 16 years), then she found her right dimension in the middle distance, in particular, precisely, in the 1500 meters.

The successes

Also in 1969, at the European Championships in Athens, while improving further with 4: 12.0, he had to settle for third place behind Jaroslava Jehlickov (4’10”700, new world record) and Gommers herself (4’11”900 ). Identical script at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich: while improving his Italian record three times in five days (4’09”530 in the heat, 4’07”830 in the semifinal and 4: 02.85 in the final), in the decisive race until third, behind the Russian Lyudmila Bragina (4’01 ” 380, new world record) and the East German Gunhild Hoffmeister (4’02 ” 830).

And primates

But Paola Pigno was a well-rounded athlete, resistant to being locked up in a single dimension. Italian record holder in the 400 meters with 54.2 (1966); in the 800 meters with 2’01”950 (1975); in the mile with 4”29”500 (1973), in his world record time; in the 3000 meters with 8’56”006 (1973); in the 5000 meters with 15: 53.6 (1969); in the 10,000 meters with 35: 30.5 (1970), and even in the marathon, 300: 47.2 in 1971. She won two world titles in cross-country running, in 1973 in Waregem and in 1974 in Monza, after having won the cross of the Nations of Vichy in 1970.

June 11, 2021 (change June 11, 2021 | 14:35)


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