Topic preparing for sixth Olympic Games | 27.07.2012
|European indoor champion Antonietta Di Martino of
Turn the clock forward 22 years and Topic, now 41 years of age, is preparing to compete in his sixth Olympic Games.
In doing so, he will be equalling the record set by Angolan distance runner Joao N’Tyamba, who was on the start line of various events from 1988 to 2008.
Also equalling N’Tyamba’s record will be 42-year-old Spanish walker Jesus Angel Garcia.
Speaking about this feat from his training base in Germany, Topic said: “I’m aware that I’m about to do something special and it’s great.
“I’m so proud of it. But I’m not only jumping in London, I will be coaching my wife Biljana who is competing in the triple jump.”
Topic had cleared a world veteran's (over 40) record of 2.28m in Belgrade in June.
The women’s record for Games longevity in athletics is held by sprinter Merlene Ottey, who competed in seven Games representing her native Jamaica and later Slovenia.
Both Topic and Ottey competed at last month’s European Athletics Championships in Helsinki.
Di Martino out of the Games
European indoor champion and Italian high jump record holder Antonietta Di Martino will not be taking part in the Olympic Games in London.
Di Martino has been sidelined by a serious knee injury in her take-off leg, for which she required surgery.
The surgery, which took place at the Villa Stuart Clinic in Rome on Wednesday, was successful but the recovery time of 3-4 months has nonetheless ruled her out of what would have been her second Olympic Games.
Her husband and coach, Massimiliano Di Matteo, said: “We followed the rehabilitation process after the injury sustained during a training camp in Tenerife in April.
“We were working hard in Formia but the injury got worse because a knee problem flared up.
“This is a major setback for Antonietta. At the same time she is aware that this is not the end of the road. She is confident that she will bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on the Olympic Games.”