• Jessica Rossi and Elia Viviani flag bearer of Italy at the Tokyo Olympics

  • Tokyo, 60 percent of the inhabitants opposed to the Olympics


June 13, 2021 40 days from the start of Tokyo 2020, the Italian expedition is already a record with 334 qualified athletes.

On the day in which US President Joe Biden gives his support to Japan "for an Olympics in safety", there is certainly a fact for now: in view of the most anomalous Olympics in history, the games are not done .

Because between postponements, cancellations, rankings and repechage, there will be time until the beginning of July to snatch a place last minute.

The last to snatch the pass for the Rising Sun was Silvia Semeraro in the pre-Olympic karate course in Paris. Numbers that promise to increase again starting from Semeraro who is fighting the round robin at the Olympic karate qualification tournament, and who could still hope for a repechage. The last useful window for the Azzurri, on the other hand, is the one between 29 June and 4 July, when the men's Italbasket tournament will be played in Belgrade for the Olympic qualification tournament.

If the bag team did the feat, it would be the fifth qualified team after men's and women's volleyball, softball and septebello. At the moment, 334 Azzurri have already qualified, the best figure of the last two Olympics. There are 167 men and 167 women, a perfect gender draw with an absolute record of attendance in the squad, already 23 more than the 144 of Rio 2016. And in the coming days, new certainties could arrive in five circles that would lead the Italian delegation to reach and possibly even surpass Beijing 2008, when 340 qualified. 

It is the eighth time that Italy has exceeded 300: at the moment it is the fifth largest Olympic mission ever, with the possible goal of joining the Italy of Atlanta '96 on the podium, which saw 347 athletes compete. In all, 32 different disciplines with 117 individual passes. And some Olympic cards still need to be official, some quotas to be closed.

Among the other athletes still in the odor of qualification, possible quota reallocations, attributions of continental slots and question marks on some disciplines that could increase the number of slots thus reaching a possible quota of 350, which would be the third best ever behind Athens. 2004 (367) and Sydney 2000 (361).

Among the disciplines that could hide new and pleasant surprises, swimming and athletics stand out. As happened with Nadia Battocletti, who in Nice surprisingly broke through the 15-minute wall in the 5000 meters with 14: 58.73, tearing up the time it took to conquer the Olympic standard (15:10) and thus becoming the second Italian ever after. the national record holder and Olympic bronze medalist of Atlanta '96 Roberta Brunet (14: 44.50) with a time trial that had been missing in Italy since 1997.

More qualified means more chances of medals, with the president of the cone Giovanni Malagò gloating over the projection of 33 medals but he also re-launched: "The important thing is the color, if we did 11 gold it would be fantastic".