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Stupor MundiBy Anthony Parente
It has been an incredible summer for the Azzurri in 2021. First, the national soccer team defeated England to become Champions of Europe winning Euro 2020. Then Italian athletes had their best Olympics ever winning 40 total medals in Tokyo. They finished tenth overall in the medal count with 10 gold, 10 silver and 20 bronze medals.
Italian athletes shocked the world in track and field as Lamont Marcell Jacobs surprised the field and won the 100m race and became the fastest man in the world. He's the first Italian to qualify for the finals and win it. Not to stop there Jacobs along with teammates Eseosa Fostine Desalu, Lorenzo Patta and Filippo Tortu claimed gold in the men's 4 x 100m relay race edging the favorite Great Britain by a hundredth of a second once again shocking the world. This wasn't the only highlight in track and field for the Italians.
In one of the Olympics' most memorable moments Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Essa Barshim from Qatar shared gold in the Men's high jump. This is rare for athletes from different countries to share gold. Each athlete had cleared 2.37m and they were also even after the tie-breakers. Both athletes had the option to have a jump-off to determine the winner, but instead they agreed to share the gold causing Tamberi to jump into Barshim's arms in jubilation. This was a special moment for Tamberi. Prior to the 2016 Olympics in Rio he suffered an injury that many thought would end his career. With determination and hard work, he found a way to get back to the Olympics and fulfill his dream. With the Italian flag draped over his back minutes after winning Tamberi witnessed Jacobs win the 100m race and greeted him as the two-gold medal winning athletes embraced and celebrated on the track.
In all five gold medals were won in track and field as Antonella Palmisano and Massimo Stano swept the women's and men's 20km race walk. This is a pretty good improvement considering they won no medals in track and field at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Track and field wasn't the only highlight for the Italian Athletes in Tokyo. Lucilla Boari became the first Italian woman to win an Olympic medal in archery claiming bronze in women's individual. In artistic gymnastics Vanessa Ferrari took the silver medal in the women's floor exercise becoming the first Italian women to win an individual medal in this sport. In the men's 4 x 100m medley relay the team of Federico Burdisso, Thomas Ceccon, Nicolo Martinenghi and Alessandro Miressi took the bronze making them the first Italian team to medal in this event.
For each medal winner CONI will award the gold medalists with €180,000, the silver medalists with €90,000 and the bronze medalists with €60,000.
For a complete list of medals won by discipline since the Olympics took place in Athens, Greece in 1896 visit: Italian Olympic Medal Winners
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