RIP Pietro Mennea


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RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby Rog » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:31 am

The BBC have reported that Pietro Mennea has died: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/athletics/21877285

Very young. RIP.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby Marlow » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:06 am

Rog wrote:Very young. RIP.

Yikes, I didn't realize he was younger than I! He was the master of cutting the bologna thinly, so to speak. Great talent. RIP indeed.
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RIP: Pietro Mennea

Postby 26mi235 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:37 am

Former Olympic champion Pietro Mennea, whose 200 metres world record lasted more than 16 years, has died in a Rome clinic at the age of 60, the Italian Olympic Committee CONI said on Thursday.

See Headlines
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby user4 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:24 am

This is very sad, he looked so healthy. Im reminded of his two greatest performances. His OG bronze in 1972 as a very slight gracile almost elfin 20 year old from a tight lane 2 and of course the 1980 gold, the most spectacular final 100 meters of any OG 200m race. After being run down in the first 60m of the curve and left in the dust heading into the straight, he proceeds to reel in all of them ... Recuperare , recuperare ! ... but so sadly not this time. Thank you for visions that will last for ever in our minds eye and our hearts. May God bless you now Pietro Mennea.
Last edited by user4 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby DoubleRBar » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:41 am

The three medalists from the 1980 Moscow 200 are all Olympic gold medalists.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby f/f » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:11 am

Ciao Pietro Paolo from Barletta, you'll never die in our hearts.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby jmd » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:04 pm

Thank you Pietro for all that you gave to track and field.
RIP,

JM
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby Track fan » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:30 pm

May he tight rope the line in races with Larry Black with St. Peter as the race official..... :wink: RIP.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby BillVol » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:57 pm

I subscribe to a blog of a former hoops coach who lives in Italy. He had these comments on Mennea. Any corrections I could pass along?

Today is a sad Thursday for Italian sport, as one of its Olympic icons, sprinter Pietro Mennea, passed away, earlier this morning, in Rome, of what they call an 'incurable disease.' That almost always means cancer. No one can believe it. His was the story of what you can do in sports if you have "The Three D's", as our high school coaches called them: Drive, Desire and Determination. Well, that was Pietro Mennea, a little guy -- 5'11" and 160 lbs. -- from Barletta, which is way down south on the Adriatic Coast. They called him "La Freccia del Sud," the Arrow of the South. He was that and then some.

With all this in mind, I just called Claudio Trachelio, who was my conditioning coach here in Milan for my entire nine years. In his day, he was Italian Record holder for the 400 meters. So, of course, he knew Pietro Mennea, being just three years older. He said, "Livio Berruti won the Olympic 200 meters in Rome in 1960 and Pietro Mennea won the gold for Italy at 200 meters in Moscow in 1980. That's where the similarity ended, though they were both the same size and weight. Berruti was the natural joy of sport participation; Mennea was the epitome of the essence of sacrifice."

Mennea's workouts, under equally legendary coach Carlo Vittori, are still copied around the world. His work load was twice that of any other sprinter. They were ahead of their time. Vittori was the first to use the giant 'rubber band' on a sprinter, putting a stake in each sideline of a soccer field, at the mid-field line. Mennea would then take that elastic band, placed on his buttocks, back until he could go back no more. The elastic would be let go and would 'slingshot' him forward at incredible speed, as he 'taught' his legs to run faster. Of course, he also sprinted downhill to achieve the same effect.

Whatever, it worked. Mennea took part in four Olympic games; he set the WR of 19.72 seconds in the 200 in 1979 and that lasted until US star Michael Johnson finally broke it, 17 years later. No other Italian Track & Field star has won half of the medals he won over his career: 19 golds, 8 silvers, 7 bronzes. I only met him once, at an awards ceremony. He was a quiet guy but you knew something was boiling inside him. Still waters run deep, they say. That was Pietro Mennea and all of Italy mourns his passing today. The Arrow of the South has fallen to the ground. He was 61 years old.
Last edited by BillVol on Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby BillVol » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:13 pm

Video of Mennea's gold and WR from La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy's famous sports paper that is published on pink paper.

http://www.gazzetta.it/Atletica/21-03-2013/morto-pietro-mennea-aveva-60-anni-campione-olimpico-record-200-92607240091.shtml
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby BillVol » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:56 am

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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby user4 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:41 am

BillVol wrote:I subscribe to a blog of a former hoops coach who lives in Italy. He had these comments on Mennea. Any corrections I could pass along?

His was the story of what you can do in sports if you have "The Three D's", as our high school coaches called them: Drive, Desire and Determination. Well, that was Pietro Mennea, a little guy -- 5'11" and 160 lbs. -- from Barletta, which is way down south on the Adriatic Coast. They called him "La Freccia del Sud," the Arrow of the South. He was that and then some.



I would guess Mennea in 1972 was under 150lbs, certainly not 160. He may have gotten to 160lbs after 1984 but I doubt he weighed that much at his peak.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby BillVol » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:08 am

Got a follow-up to that blog...

I didn't expect to receive any feedback on the death of Italian sprint legend Pietro Mennea. But many came back to comment on his passing, people in Italy, of course, but also people in the USA that follow Olympic sports. This clip, about 10' long, done by Gazzetta TV, summarizes his career: the only athlete, from any nation, ever to make a sprint final in four Olympics. In the 200 meters, his work went like this: 1972 (3); 1976 (4); 1980 (1); and 1984 (7).

Yesterday, I said he was 61 years old. Actually, he was 60, as he would have turned 61 on June 28. But, here in Europe, no one says how old someone is; they cite the year in which he or she was born. In Mennea's case, that was 1952. I just did the math too early. I also said he was 5'11" tall and 160 lbs. That was the OFFICIAL listing. My guess is that he was closer to 5'9" tall and 150 lbs. He was rail thin; all nerves and sinew, not a drop of excess tissue.

Well, he's gone and Italy will never see anything like him again.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby BillVol » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:25 am

BTW in one of those clips (I think the Oly final in Moscow), Mennea won in the outside lane -- I think 9. Has a gold ever been won before in that lane in the 200?
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby user4 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:37 am

BillVol wrote:BTW in one of those clips (I think the Oly final in Moscow), Mennea won in the outside lane -- I think 9. Has a gold ever been won before in that lane in the 200?


I cant find that it happened, even in an WC final. But perhaps getting anything but last place from lane 1 is a greater feat ... What astounds me about Mennea is the speed maintenance in the final 100m, he is a rare athlete. He maintains speed like an athlete twice his size and to do that in 1980, rare indeed.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby bambam » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:02 pm

BillVol wrote:BTW in one of those clips (I think the Oly final in Moscow), Mennea won in the outside lane -- I think 9. Has a gold ever been won before in that lane in the 200?


It was lane 8 per the Official Results and zur Megede's book on Olympic Track & Field
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby user4 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:48 am

BillVol wrote:Got a follow-up to that blog...

I didn't expect to receive any feedback on the death of Italian sprint legend Pietro Mennea. But many came back to comment on his passing, people in Italy, of course, but also people in the USA that follow Olympic sports. This clip, about 10' long, done by Gazzetta TV, summarizes his career: the only athlete, from any nation, ever to make a sprint final in four Olympics. In the 200 meters, his work went like this: 1972 (3); 1976 (4); 1980 (1); and 1984 (7).

Well, he's gone and Italy will never see anything like him again.


I think he was hampered by small injuries in 1976 and then being cursed with lane 1 in the Montreal final didnt help. In hindsight that 4th place in '76 perhaps should be considered a very solid performance.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby BillVol » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:05 pm

A 14-minute piece on Mennea on YouTube. About 40 pics or so repeat themselves as some guy talks about Mennea. Neat pics of Pre with Mennea and another with Usain Bolt with Mennea. Does anybody know who the voice is? Whoever it is says all the sprinters since the '80s are doped up. He says we are going to start seeing these people die due to being doped up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nVUzbvzCaA
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby Daisy » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:30 pm

BillVol wrote:He says we are going to start seeing these people die due to being doped up

I don't know anything about Joe Weider, but what are the chances he didn't take a lot of different PED's? He lived to 93.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby AS » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:34 pm

BillVol wrote:the only athlete, from any nation, ever to make a sprint final in four Olympics. [/b]


I presume the blogger means "only male athlete"

Ottey (@200m):
1980 (3)
1984 (3)
1988 (4)
1992 (3)
1996 (2)

Ottey (@100m)
1984 (3)
1992 (5)
1996 (2)
2000 (3)
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby BillVol » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:19 pm

AS wrote:
BillVol wrote:the only athlete, from any nation, ever to make a sprint final in four Olympics. [/b]


I presume the blogger means "only male athlete"

Ottey (@200m):
1980 (3)
1984 (3)
1988 (4)
1992 (3)
1996 (2)

Ottey (@100m)
1984 (3)
1992 (5)
1996 (2)
2000 (3)


I guess so, considering what you have posted. Men's and women's athletics. Apples and oranges.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby user4 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:04 am

Daisy wrote:
BillVol wrote:He says we are going to start seeing these people die due to being doped up

I don't know anything about Joe Weider, but what are the chances he didn't take a lot of different PED's? He lived to 93.


maybe they will live longer than the rest of us and look better too :).

Back to Mennea. One might speculate, knowing the success that Mennea had, that Italy would have had a deep field of sprinters throughout the decades in the 20th century. But this is not so clearly the case. While Berutti did win gold in 1960/200 and like Mennea, ranked at times in both the 100 and 200 I can find no other ranked sprinter from Italy. More generally from the sprint-hurdles to mid-distance there is Ottoz(1968/110h/bronze, with numerous rankings in the mid-late60), Morale(1964/400h/bronze) with a WR, numerous rankings and a OG bronze.

Beyond that those that have ranked; Siddi(1949/400rnk8), Filiput (1950/400h), Martini(400h), Frinolli(400h), Zuliani (1981/400/r6), Fiasconaro(1973/800), Sabia(1984/800), Benvenuti(1984/800), Longo(1998-2000/800). After that only L.Ottoz(1990s/400h) and Mori(2001/400h) come up.

So looking over these facts it seems that the 400h is the event that the Italians have had the most and lasting success. Why did they produce a Berutti and a Mennea ? Perhaps it was just chance.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby batonless relay » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:35 am

The Italians are no different than almost all of the other countries of Europe; they've given up on sprinting (and eventually athletics, altogether). Germany boasts about the field events, Netherlands has decamped to the Multi-events, Spain concentrates on the distances and the UK just claims that everyone else is on PEDs and all the other countries of Europe try to produce...Pole Vaulters. Not exactly a winning strategy. Poland? What ever happened to Poland?

And, then there was France to save the rest of Europe (irony).
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby Per Andersen » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:40 pm

user4 wrote:

Beyond that those that have ranked; Siddi(1949/400rnk8), Filiput (1950/400h), Martini(400h), Frinolli(400h), Zuliani (1981/400/r6), Fiasconaro(1973/800), Sabia(1984/800), Benvenuti(1984/800), Longo(1998-2000/800). After that only L.Ottoz(1990s/400h) and Mori(2001/400h) come up.

So looking over these facts it seems that the 400h is the event that the Italians have had the most and lasting success. Why did they produce a Berutti and a Mennea ? Perhaps it was just chance.

Why did you not mention Lanzi, Beccali, Consolini, Tosi, Gibileslco, Ottolina, Howe, Tamberi, Donato, Vizzoni, Greco. Not to mention Sara Simeoni. Check out Greco in the TJ and Alessia Trost in the women HJ this winter.
Why pick on the Italians? They always have athletes.
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Re: RIP Pietro Mennea

Postby user4 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:23 am

Per Andersen wrote:
user4 wrote:

Beyond that those that have ranked; Siddi(1949/400rnk8), Filiput (1950/400h), Martini(400h), Frinolli(400h), Zuliani (1981/400/r6), Fiasconaro(1973/800), Sabia(1984/800), Benvenuti(1984/800), Longo(1998-2000/800). After that only L.Ottoz(1990s/400h) and Mori(2001/400h) come up.

So looking over these facts it seems that the 400h is the event that the Italians have had the most and lasting success. Why did they produce a Berutti and a Mennea ? Perhaps it was just chance.

Why did you not mention Lanzi, Beccali, Consolini, Tosi, Gibileslco, Ottolina, Howe, Tamberi, Donato, Vizzoni, Greco. Not to mention Sara Simeoni. Check out Greco in the TJ and Alessia Trost in the women HJ this winter.
Why pick on the Italians? They always have athletes.


and let us not forget that their accomplishments in "soccer" have dramatically dwarfed their population. Thank you for adding those names. My field of view was both narrow and off of the field ! .. and of course I forgot about the beautiful women. The recent results >17.5m in the TJ (Donato and Greco) are quite impressive. Here is to hoping for more from them in the near future.
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