Di Martino out to fill an empty space in Helsinki
|Italian high jumper Antonietta Di Martino.|
Di Martino, now 33, has won a myriad of medals at major championships but curiously at neither of this summer's big events.
She was Italy's only athlete to climb the podium at the World Indoor Championships last month, after getting a silver medal in Istanbul.
Di Martino has twice won medals at the outdoor World Championships, including a bronze medal last summer in Daegu and took the top honours at the 2011 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Paris last year.
However, her two previous appearances at the European Athletics Championships have ended in disappointment and that's a state of affairs that she wants to rectify this summer in Helsinki.
Six years ago in Göteborg she finished 10th and, struggling to recover from an injury, she didn't make it out of the qualifying rounds at the last edition of the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona two years ago.
She is currently recuperating from a minor thigh injury which occurred while she was warm weather training last week in the Canary islands which will keep her away from the track until mid-May but she is confident that by Helsinki she will be back in top form.
At the 2010 European Athletics Championships, Italy won six medals but went without a victory and Di Martino is among her country's best bets to ensure that the Italian national anthem Il Canto degli Italiani rings out across Helsinki.
The 2012 European Athletics Championships will be held in the Finnish capital from 27 June – 1 July.