Rome is home for him. And the European Athletics Championships in the Capital City may become the springboard for Lorenzo Simonelli’s career. Last Saturday’s fantastic start to the season at the Memorial Giovannini in Ancona, with a time of 6.59 in the 60 metres flat, just one hundredth off the best Italian Under-23 performance achieved by Filippo Tortu in 2019, is confirmation that the young Italian can dream big, starting with his first outing in his favourite speciality, the 60 hurdles, scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday 27 January, in Lodz, Poland. The first of a long series of competitions that will lead up to the European Athletics Championships, scheduled to take place in Rome from June 7-12.

“This year will be a very busy, with many competitions. The one we Italians certainly care about most is Roma 2024, since we will hold the European Athletics Championships at home. In particular at my home, because I was born in Roma. I have great ambitions for this event, I am really excited and happy. We are already preparing for the start of the indoor season, but especially thinking about Roma 2024” said Simonelli.

Simonelli, like all guys born in Rome, has a special relationship with the Olympic Stadium. “Since I was a child I went in the stadium to see the Golden Gala meeting and to admire the strongest athletes live. I saw beautiful competitions and dreamed of one day being able to express myself at the level of those great champions. In particular, I remember the thrill of seeing Usain Bolt run in Rome. During some Golden Galas I also went as a volunteer on duty at the Olympic Stadium: I had the task of moving the obstacles on the track according to the different disciplines and in the meantime I managed to snatch a few autographs from the athletes. Some of those guys today are my rivals in the competitions and I am truly honoured to be able to participate in the European Athletics Championships in Rome, in that same stadium where I used to cheer as a child”. Simonelli will turn 22 just a few days before the start of the European Athletics Championships and feels ready to improve steadily. “Last year I won silver at the Under-23 European Athletics Championships, I know that I can still grow and I am working on getting higher and higher. This year, together with the staff, we are focusing more on technique of hurdles.” added the Italian athlete.

“I face this discipline like you face life. The slightest mistake can make all the difference and ruin a race for you. So, hurdle by hurdle, steb by step, and you can overcome anything,’ Simonelli closes. .