Paltrinieri, recovered from mononucleosis, wants en plein in 800, 1500 and 10 km: “In the race I forget everything, I know what I can do”
– TOKYO (JAPAN)
The hero of the two worlds? From South America to the East? From chlorine to salt: what will the Games of the blue god of water taste like? He arrived last, in Tokyo, but since he decided to change everything, he has only one obsession: to win 3 golds, to become a legend. Had he not been suffering from mononucleosis within weeks of the Games, he would have been the obligatory favorite. This is admitted by his main opponent, the German Florian Wellbrock, who snatched the world crown of 1500 and is world champion in the 10 km, just won by Greg at the European Championships. “Gregorio is the reigning Olympic champion: I wished him a speedy recovery by message, he thanked me and replied that he was doing everything possible to get back in shape. The rivalry is not alive, it gives both of us an edge. We write to each other about once every three weeks. We talk about the basic things but we don’t reveal the cards, he’s always in a good mood, then he goes into race mode and gives 100% ”. That’s right: up to the block Greg “hates” the world, once the races are over he becomes the most available of the champions. As soon as he got off the plane, Greg took a selfie with the squire Domenico Acerenza, competing only in the 1500s, while Greg will begin his efforts at lunchtime on Tuesday in those 800 sl in which he won the 2019 world gold. .
Greg in the last tests would have given very optimistic feedback: the only doubt will concern the recoveries after his body has been weakened by the virus, forcing him to upset the preparation. The decision to reach the Olympic city at the last moment, back from the height, is the other curious aspect confirming the new approach to competitions that has always paid off so far. “I don’t know how they will go. In any case, if I don’t get to 100% I don’t care. I can be 80% or 90%, but there are, the races are more important. In the race I will forget the disease. I will not think about what has been ”. Stronger and more aware, Greg admits that mononucleosis “gave me a different vision but I am now sure of myself, of the path taken. I know myself and trust what I can do, my attitude that will make me push hard to win ”.
After the eventual final of the 800 sl on the night between Wednesday and Thursday, he will return to the heats in the 1500s on Friday (the final will be on Sunday). On Tuesday 3 August at 11.30 pm (Italian) he will swim in the 10 km. With the attitude of a concrete person: “In the end, life as a sportsman is also this: falling, getting hurt, having problems and getting up. Try to get back up after you’ve been down. I’ve always been proactive “. The most recurring memory of the Rio de Janeiro gold medal is “Tamberi’s surprise by the pool. I didn’t even know Gimbo was there to see the race, I got out of the water and found him in front of me. It was nice”. And he came out of Rio with the mad desire to become the caiman of the sea: “Something new that inspired me. I felt it in my ropes even if in the first two years at sea it wasn’t like I did great things, on the contrary I made many mistakes ”. Now no longer.
July 25, 2021 (change July 25, 2021 | 08:10)
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