Massimo Stano Olympic champion, the first coach: ‘He was already running on this straight when he was 11 years old’

It all started there. On that straight that, on the day of Massimo Stano’s victory in the twenty-kilometer walk at the Tokyo Olympics, is retraced by his first coach, Giovanni Zaccheo: “He used to train here”. Now it is a paved road next to the railway of Palo del Colle, a small town in the Bari area, but before it was dirt and dusty. Beaten several times, back and forth, even in the summer heat, because there are no facilities dedicated to athletics in the town. But Stano did it anyway: “It is the result of the work done since he was eleven”, confirmed the coach of Fiamma Olimpia Palo, who forges dozens of little athletes, despite the difficulties. “Before the race I called him and gave him some advice – the same as always – to start quietly and attack in the second part”

by Gennaro Totorizzo and Michele Piscitelli

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