ODERZO, COUNTDOWN: 11 NATIONALS AT THE LINE START OF THE U20 EUROPEAN ROAD RACE
The Young Europe returns to the streets of Oderzo. 11 Youth National teams will compete on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the sixth edition of the prestigious Opitergium Trophy European Road Race Under 20.
The event was officialy presented in the “Sala delle Anfore” at the Eno Bellis Archaeological Museum of Oderzo. Among the authorities present were the Mayor of Oderzo Maria Scardellato, the president of the CONI Veneto Dino Ponchio, the president of the FIDAL Regional Committee Francesco Uguagliati and the president of the Organizing Committee Dino Brunello together with Giuseppe Zoni, who is one of the creator of the Opitergium Trophy. “It’s a great event, not only for Oderzo but also for all those who love the sport” said Brunello. “ We would like to thank for their support the Municipal Administration, the Forò Traders’ Association and the Nuova Atletica Tre Comuni. We will try our best to grow and enhance the event”
Besides Italy, 11 more National Teams will compete in Oderzo: Armenia, England, France, Malta, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine
The latter’s participation, for obvious reasons, is particularly significiant: a group of young Ukrainian athletes arrived in Oderzo in March 2022, during the war, and for several months they have lived and trained in town. From that moment a bond of friendship was born that lasts to this day and the Ukrainian Federation enthusiastically accepted the race organisers’ invitation. The 9 times European Cross Country Champion, Sergey Lebid, will head the team that will also be composed by Hanna Kasyanova, the eptathlon 2013 World Champion and by her husband Oleksiy Kasyanov, Vice-World indoor Champion in the combined track and field events (2012 and 2016).
The athletes, ten from each Nation, will compete over the distance of 5 km for women and 10 km for men. The first race of the international program is the men’s and will start at 17.15 pm; the women’s competition is one hour later . The course of the race is a little different from the previous editions, with the start line in Via Martini and the finish line placed in Piazza Grande. The event has received the prestigious Road Race Label assigned by World Athletic, the World Federation of Athletics. Guest of Honour at the event will be Gabriela Szabo, former international middle distance runner (three Olimpic medals and seven World titles).
The Deputy Technical Director of the youth teams, Tonino Andreozzi, formalized few days ago the composition of the Italian team: Andrea Botteon (Vittorio Atletica), Stefano Benzoni (Atl. Valle Brembana), Francesco Mazza (Atl. Saluzzo), Alessandro Morotti (Atl. Bergamo 1959 Oriocenter), Francesco Ropelato (U.S. Quercia) and in the female’s event Lucia Arnoldo (Dolomiti Belluno), Emma Cavallari (S.S. Trionfo Ligure), Elena Ribigini (Atl. Arcs Cus Perugia), Adele Roatta (Bracco Atletica) e Margherita Voliani (Atl. Libertas Unicusano Livorno).
The Opitergium Trophy European Road Race U20 will be branded Joma, Spanish company that produces and commercilizes sports equipment in more than 120 Countries and which is also a technical partner of the Italian Athletics Federation.
The 2023 edition will begin Saturday 16 at 3 pm with regional competitions of 3 and 5 kilometres and the live streaming will be available on atletica.tv with race commentary by Stefano Scaini and Anna Incerti, former marathon runner of the National team.