Tamberi to jump in Ancona and Belgrade in preparation for Tokyo

Gianmarco Tamberi
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European indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi holds the Italian high jump record with 2.39m

Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi is leaving no stone unturned ahead of his second Olympic appearance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

After making his Olympic debut in 2012 at the age of 20, a second showing on the sport’s biggest stage for one of the world's most charismatic athletes beckoned in 2016 until that fateful night in Monaco in mid-July when the Italian tore the ankle ligaments in his take-off leg which required surgery. A long recovery period ensued although Tamberi did return to the top of the rostrum at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships.

Tamberi is only planning to compete twice during the indoor campaign but he has shrewdly scheduled two competitions which will simulate Tokyo 2020 schedule. He will make his season’s debut at the Italian Indoor Championships in Ancona on 23 February and the competition has been scheduled for the unusually early start time of 9.15 - the same time as the qualifying round for the men’s high jump at the Olympic Games.

With the help of a sleep expert, the Italian has already been adapting his sleeping pattern ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Tamberi opines an early morning competition will further progress his preparations. “I have never jumped so early in the morning, the alarm will be set at 5.30 but it is the best opportunity to do a competition at the exact same time as the qualifying for the Tokyo Games, scheduled for 31 July,” said Tamberi in a recent interview with FIDAL. 

“I want to understand how the body reacts at that hour in terms of neuromuscular activation. In the last two months I have started going to bed earlier, around 10.30pm, and waking up earlier, between 7.45am and 8.15am, just to gradually get used to the competition time that awaits me in Tokyo.”

Tamberi will also be in action three days later at the Serbian Open Indoor Meeting, a European Athletics Indoor Classic Permit Meeting. While the Italian Indoor Championships will simulate the qualifying round of the high jump, the start-time of 7.10pm in Belgrade will mirror the start-time of the Olympic final in Tokyo.

And it is not just his sleeping pattern and competition schedule which have been planned in punctilious detail. Tamberi’s brother is currently scouting the facilities in Japan and Tamberi himself will be spending three weeks in the country from 20 April, culminating with his season’s opener in Tokyo on 10 May which takes place inside the Olympic stadium. 

“My brother Gianluca left for Japan last week to visit the training facilities I will attend before and during the Olympics. In addition, I rented a house near mine, in Ancona, and I equipped it with an ice tub for cryotherapy, a hot water tub, a physiotherapy bed, and I have now become a self-taught expert in nutrition,” he said.