Following Italy’s football victory in the Euro 2020 championship, more sports professionals are flying the green-white-and-red flag in Japan, claiming nine medals in the first weekend of the Games and currently placing ninth in the table.
Italy has already enjoyed success in taekwondo, freestyle swimming, the breaststroke, fencing and women’s skeet (a type of clay shooting) since the games started on Friday.
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In the last Olympic games in Rio 2016, Italy brought home 28 medals in total – eight gold, 12 silver and eight bronze.
With one gold medal, four silver and four bronze medals under their belts so far, and another two weeks of competition to go, here are the top Italian competitors to watch.
Jessica Rossi: Shooting
Out of more than 370 Italian athletes – a record number to participate in the Olympic Games – Jessica Rossi is the Italian flagbearer and a former Olympic medal winner in the 2016 games.
She won a total of seven medals in the Games in Rio in 2016, four golds and three silvers, and hopes are high for this shooting talent.
Rossi started the sport young, under the guidance of her father, who was also an Italian shooting champion.
In 2009, at the age of 17, she won the Italian, European and world titles. At the London Olympics three years later, she continued her streak and set a new world record with a score of 99/100.
Her teammates have already paved the way for another Italian victory, with Diana Bacosi claiming the silver in women’s skeet. She dedicated her medal to “all Italians who have recovered from the pandemic”.
Frank Chamizo: Wrestling
She took gold in Beijing and is the only swimmer in history to win a medal at eight successive world championships in the same event.
For a sport that is known for its short career span due to burnout, Pellegrini’s success borders on, well, the divine.
As the only Italian swimmer to have set world records in more than one event (200m and 400m freestyle), this swimming prodigy is one to keep an eye on throughout the Tokyo Games.
Gianmarco Tamberi: High jump