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2436-Roberto La Barbera photo

Roberto La Barbera

Athletics
2
2

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
T64, F64, P44

Further personal information

Family
Wife Margherita, children Alex, Erik and Marianna
Residence
Alessandria, ITA
Languages
Italian, English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up Para athletics at age 30.
Why this sport?
He was inspired to try the sport after watching the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta on television, and seeing US Paralympic sprinter Tony Volpentest win gold in the T43-44 100m.
Club / Team
Apex Team: Italy
Training Regime
He trains every day. His intense sessions of repetitions, resistance and weights usually take place between October and January each year.

General interest

Nicknames
The Barbarian (fanpage.it, 29 Jan 2020)
Most influential person in career
His father. (paralympic.org, 13 Nov 2009)
Hero / Idol
US sprinter Michael Johnson. (paralympic.org, 13 Nov 2009)
Injuries
He injured his shoulder in August 2017 and he was only able to return training in December that year. (Facebook page, 07 Mar 2020)

He injured his Achilles tendon in 2008, which affected his performance at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. (sionomagazine.com, 03 Jul 2009)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (iogiocopulito.it, 25 Feb 2019)
Impairment
He was involved in a motorcycle accident in 1985. The incident resulted in the amputation of his right leg below the knee. "The last thing I remember is screaming in the hospital, I could only see bones and muscles outside [the skin]. I took a doctor by the arm and held him so tightly that he had to anaesthetise me. I woke up 36 hours later." (fanpage.it, 29 Jan 2020; abilitychannel.tv, 16 Jun 2016; articolo21.org, 07 Jan 2016)
Other information
DANCING
He was a professional dancer before his accident. He and his wife ran a dance school, where he taught for four years. "My father took me to ballroom since I was age four, he tells me. With my sister I have won everything. They amputated my leg when I was 18. I was a professional dancer, then I was reborn thanks to athletics." (fanpage.it, 29 Jan 2020; iogiocopulito.it, 25 Feb 2019; articolo21.org, 07 Jan 2016)

FUTURE PLANS
He hopes to compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, when he will be age 53. "I know that sooner or later that moment [when he retires from the sport] will come and I know it will be like losing my leg a second time. But for now I like to keep improving. When I stop doing that, I will start thinking about it." (fanpage.it, 29 Jan 2020)

SANCTION
He was banned from competitive athletics for two years after he tested positive for the prohibited substance stanozolol at the 2010 IWAS European Athletics Open Championships in Stadskanaal, Netherlands. He appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] but saw his ban upheld and he served his full suspension. He returned to competition in July 2012. (alessandrianews.it, 29 Aug 2012; superabile.it, 20 Jul 2012; paralympic.org, 20 Nov 2010 iwasf.com, 02 May 2011)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games (Sydney, Australia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m T44 Heat 2 6
Men's 400 m T44 Heat 2 5
Men's 800 m T44 Final Round 6
Men's Long Jump F44 Final Round 6
Men's Discus Throw F44 Final Round 12
Men's Pentathlon P44 Final Round 5
Athens 2004 Paralympic Games (Athens, Greece)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 400 m T44 Final Round 9999
Men's 4x100 m T42-46 Final Round 9999
Men's Long Jump F44 Final Round 2
Men's Pentathlon P44 Final Round 4
Men's 400 m T44 Heat 1 5
IPC Athletics World Championships Assen 2006 (Assen, Netherlands)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Long Jump F44 Final Round 3
Men's Pentathlon P44 Final Round 9999
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Long Jump F42/44 Final Round 8
Men's Pentathlon P44 Final Round 9999
IPC Athletics World Championships Villeneuve d'Ascq 2002 (Villeneuve d'Ascq, France)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Pentathlon P44 Final Round 3
Men's 400 m T44 Heat 1 9999
Men's 200 m T44 Final Round 6
Men's Long Jump F44 Final Round 2
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Long Jump T44 Final 1 2015-10-23 7
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Long Jump T44 Final Round 2016-09-17 8
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Long Jump T44 Final 1 2017-07-17 5