Tortu just misses Mennea’s Italian 100m record in Savona

Tortu Grosseto
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19-year-old Filippo Tortu just missed Pietro Mennea's Italian record with a 10.03 clocking in Savona

The Italian 100m record was set nearly two decades before Filippo Tortu was born but this long-standing mark could be the property of the reigning European U20 100m champion before the end of the season.

Still only 19, Tortu set a lifetime best of 10.09 in the heats at the Meeting Internazionale Citta di Savona on Wednesday (23) but there was still more to come. A couple of hours later, Tortu returned to the track for the final and took another chunk off his lifetime best, crossing the finish-line in 10.03.

Tortu moved to second on the Italian all-time lists, just missing Pietro Mennea’s national record of 10.01 set at altitude in Mexico City at the 1979 World University Games. Behind him, Marcell Jacobs improved to 10.08 after a wind-aided 10.04 in the heats which bodes well for Italy’s prospects in the 4x100m at the European Championships in Berlin later this summer.

“Without Marcell - and Marcell without myself - we probably would not have come out today with these record times at sea level,” Tortu told FIDAL after the race, sportingly acknowledging his domestic rival.

Next up for both of them is the Rome Diamond League on 31 May when they will face the strongest of international fields, including world indoor 60m champion and record-holder Christian Coleman. Could the Italian record fall - and could we see a wind-legal sub-10 performance from an Italian sprinter for the first time in history?

“There is only one Italian 100m record and it is 10.01 in Mennea, I am sure that at the Golden Gala we will improve again. It will be a great show, come and see us!” said Tortu.