MILAN - 40 years ago today, one of the greatest and most long-lived athletics records ever was set. It was in Mexico City on 12 September 1979 that Pietro Mennea set the 200-metre record with a time of 19.72 seconds, a time which still stands as the European record, and a legendary sporting achievement in Italy’s history.
That hard-headed, determined and unique young man raced not against his opponents, but rather only against time. All those years ago, in September of 1979 during the World University Games in Mexico City, not many would have imagined that the extraordinary record set would last for 17 years at world level and remain thus far unbeaten at European level. In that moment, Mennea wrote his name in the history books of Italian sport and athletics, leaving a legacy that will never fade away.
Pietro Mennea was born in 1952 in Barletta and was a Nerazzurri fan from the very beginning. Nicknamed “the Arrow of the South” due to his origins, he was the only 200-metre sprinter to qualify for four consecutive Olympic finals (from 1972 to 1984). By virtue of his sporting career he was awarded the Olympic Order in 1997 and given a place in the FIDAL Hall of Fame. Over the course of his career he won one gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics and two bronze medals at Munich '72 and Moscow '80.
Pietro Mennea's record remains a timeless feat, an achievement which has been engraved in the memory of every sportsman, just like the achievements of Inter as a Club.
A record which is certainly #NotForEveryone.