Home Sports Teenage long jump sensation Larissa Iapichino on the Olympics and matching her...

Teenage long jump sensation Larissa Iapichino on the Olympics and matching her mother’s record

Even now, two-and-a-half months on from her jump at the Italian Indoor championships, the 18-year-old struggles to clarify how she felt as she set a brand new junior indoor world record and equaled the Italian indoor record.

“I am unable to describe it. It was in some way like I had this blackout and then I spotted every part, and it was like: Wow,” Iapichino tells CNN Sport.

The 18-year-old’s leap of 6.91 meters in February additionally carried private significance.

Iapichino’s mom, two-time Olympic silver medalist Fiona May, is the solely Italian to jump the identical distance indoors. The two now share an area in the nation’s long jump record books, however that is to not say May is in any respect involved about ceding data to her daughter.

“She was at the competitors,” says Iapichino. “She got here as much as me and mentioned: ‘You might have achieved 6.92m.’ And I used to be like: ‘Mom?!

“She was so joyful for me. And she would not thoughts if in the future I’ll break her data […] she all the time pushes me to strive my finest.”

Iapichino is now getting ready to compete at the Tokyo Olympics later this 12 months. Her mom, who was born in Britain however competed for Italy after marrying former pole vaulter Gianni Iapichino, has already handed on just a few phrases of recommendation having competed at 5 Olympics throughout her profession.
Iapichino competes in the women's long jump at the Italian indoor championships in Ancona on February 20.

“She mentioned that you want to be there and really feel the feelings, to really feel the ambiance that’s typical of the Olympic Games,” says Iapichino. “She could not describe it to me. She mentioned you want to really feel it on your personal pores and skin.

“I typically watch my mother’s movies. It’s so unusual seeing my mother as an athlete as a result of all my life, I noticed her as my mom, as the one who tells me to do homework, to not go to mattress late.

“But she was a legend — and she is a legend right here in Italy — and this makes me actually happy with her.”

Named after Larisa Berezhnaya, a former long jumper competing for the USSR and Ukraine and May’s rival throughout the Nineties, it would look like Iapichino was all the time destined to take up the sport herself.

But after beginning her sporting life as a gymnast and regardless of her household background, long jump by no means appeared like an apparent alternative.

“When I began athletics, I hated long jump, it was my worst occasion,” Iapichino says.

“I used to be a sprinter and a hurdler and in the future my previous coach requested me to do that long jump competitors only for enjoyable […] and I began leaping far.

“From that second, I used to be like: ‘Oh, it is not that unhealthy.’ And then I began coaching for that, and right here I’m.

“It was fairly informal and I’m actually pleased with it. My past love was hurdles, however my coronary heart is with long jump. I imply, it is one thing that possibly is fairly near my coronary heart as a result of it is a household factor additionally.”

At a nationwide degree, Iapichino has achieved appreciable success — most not too long ago, her record-breaking jump in Ancona this February which earned her the Italian indoor title.

She was additionally topped the U20 European champion in 2019 after beating athletes nearly two years her senior — one thing she’s grown accustomed to all through her profession.

“I’ve all the time been the teenager,” she says. “When I used to be U18, I competed with the U20, and now I’m U20 and I’m competing with the seniors. I’m used to it.

“But the senior competitions are completely different. They are a battlefield, actually, but it surely’s fairly enjoyable and stimulating to compete with these girls which might be so inspiring.”

Iapichino is now setting her sights on leaping over seven meters — “a very vital measure in girls’s long jump” — and past that there is her mother’s Italian record of seven.11m as a distant goal.

Mother and daughter Fiona May (left) and Larissa Iapichino share the Italian indoor long jump record.

She additionally leads a busy life exterior of athletics. On high of coaching for two-and-a-half to 3 hours a day, 5 instances per week, Iapichino can also be a senior in highschool and will sit her last exams in June. She then plans to review legislation in Florence whereas nonetheless pursuing her athletic profession.

“It’s fairly tough balancing these two issues,” Iapichino says.

“I normally examine until late. Sometimes, I attempt to discover little items throughout my free time to simply copy some notes, examine. So it is fairly tough, however with arduous work, every part’s potential.”

Iapichino shall be 19 and simply out of highschool when she competes at the Olympics, which begin on July 23.

Her major feelings forward of the Games are “just about pleasure,” though her household might not be capable of journey with her to Tokyo after worldwide spectators have been banned from attending amid the pandemic.

Iapichino is preparing for her first Olympics.

“They shall be with me by means of the telephone, video calls and textual content messages,” says Iapichino.

“Having your loved ones there, your first Olympics, I feel is sort of emotional and vital, however the state of affairs is fairly difficult. So we’ll see.”

If her household cannot be with her in particular person in Tokyo, then the classes she has discovered being introduced up by two former athletes definitely will.

“I used to be all the time raised with the values of sports activities — arduous work, dedication — in order that influenced my sports activities profession just about,” says Iapichino.

“From the second I began doing sports activities and even in life, I all the time rely on these values that they educate me from the world. Sports have been in my life since without end.”

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