Four current world records holders are among the Italian team selected to compete at the 2018 World Para Athletics European Championships in Berlin (Germany) next month. Assunta Legnante, Oney Tapia, Martina Caironi and Oxana Corso are included in a team of 20 Para athletes – 13 men and seven women.
Two-time Paralympic champion Legnante, who competes in the F11 class for vision impaired athletes, captains the Azzurri and is determined to lead her team to great success.
“I've always felt like a captain for this team. I hope we will battle until the last centimetre and be fierce enough to make our people proud,” said Legnante, who holds the shot put F11 world record thanks to her throw of 17.32 metres back in 2014, the same year she won European gold in Swansea, Great Britain.
Reigning European champion Tapia competes in the men’s discus F11 and has already laid down his marker this season, smashing the previous world record with a throw of 45.65m in Italy in April.
Multiple Paralympic and world champion Caironi has dominated her class for a number of years now – she’s also won 100m T42 gold at the last three consecutive European Championships.
The 28-year-old, who now competes in the T63 class for single above-knee amputees, holds the 100m and 200m world records for her class and takes on the shorter sprint as well as the long jump in Berlin. The Bergamo athlete currently tops the long jump T63 world rankings having leapt 4.88m this year.
Corso makes her return to major international competition after foot surgery. The 23-year-old is the current 400m T35 world record holder and won 100m and 200m T35 silver at both Grosseto 2016 and Swansea 2014.
Italian Federation President Sandrino Porru said: "It's one of the biggest teams at any international Para athletics event abroad so far. I am sure we will enjoy a tremendous experience in Berlin. Our athletes will be able to honour Italy and will be of huge inspiration to many impaired people at home".
Carlotta Bertoli 100m, 200m T13, relay
Martina Caironi 100m, long jump T63
Francesca Cipelli long jump T37
Monica Contrafatto 100m T63
Oxana Corso 100m T35, relay
Adriana Gardini javelin F54
Assunta Legnante shot put F11. Guide: Nadia Checchini
Riccardo Bagaini 100m, 200m T47, relay
Luca Campeotto 200m, 400m T62
Giuseppe Campoccio shot put, javelin F33
Marco Cicchetti 100m, long jump T44, relay
Raffaele Di Maggio 400m T20
Emanuele Di Marino 100m, 200m T44, relay
Adawe Hadafo Farhan 100m, 400m T52
Diego Gastaldi 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m T53, relay
Roberto La Barbera long jump T64, relay
Andrea Lanfri 200m, 400m T62, relay
Simone Manigrasso 100m, 200 T64, relay
Marco Pentagoni 100m, long jump T63
Oney Tapia discus, shot put F11. Guide: Guido Sgherzi
The World Para Athletics European Championships take place in Berlin, Germany from 20-26 August.