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Vincente Graiani's new beginning in Kirchheim USA

Vincente Graiani's new beginning in Kirchheim USA

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“In the USA, you can get everything you need as an elite athlete”: 400-meter runner Vincent Graiani received a scholarship to Indiana University Bloomington; He studies sports management there. © Ralph Goerlitz

All signs point to a new start for German elite runner Vincente Graiani: Kirchheimer will emigrate to the United States for a few months after not being nominated for the national team.

Kirchheim – In the past few months, several popular athletes posted on social media that, as German champions, they were not selected for the national team. Roughly 89 track and field athletes — and a few like Vincente Graiani, who expects a lot for the 2024 season — will go into potential Olympic preparations at the end of this year without team status.

The posts also said: “Germany wants to be a sporting nation, but without supporting athletes on their way to the top” or “It is sad to see how worthless German championship titles, best times or current positions in the world rankings are.” .

Belonging to a band is no longer just a matter of prestige. Rather, it provides financial security through athletic aid, subsidized training camps, and the best possible support both in preparation and in-season from physical therapists, sports psychologists and performance diagnosticians. Without being named to the team, the man from Kirchheim will not receive any funding from DLV: apart from the lack of financial resources, he will not be able to benefit from any physical therapy procedures.

Vincente Graiani can look back on an excellent season, because as the fastest junior athlete of the year in the 400m in Germany and setting the individual standard at the European Under-23 Championships, he won the DM bronze medal in the junior under-23 category this year and celebrated with two strong wins . Performances at the European Under-23 Championships in Espoo, Finland with the German 4 x 400 meters relay team, finishing seventh in the final.

“I could have been really satisfied with these successes and my fast performance in the 400 meters of 46.42 seconds, but with this missed opportunity to be part of the team, I fell into a terrible hole,” says the 22-year-old runner. “The new 400m team is a slap in the face for my son, especially since the supposedly promising team is partly made up of older athletes,” adds his mother, Daniela Graianni Peter, who previously competed in the German Championships. National 400 meter hurdles jersey. “This makes us all sad and incomprehensible.”

The versatile runner himself is known to be a promising athlete as well. “With more strength, I can run forward,” says the athlete. “Even if it sounds strange, I am not satisfied after my best season,” says the seventh in the annual list of the best German men.

As the youngest and most advanced athlete, it somehow doesn't feel positive because there was not even a small opportunity to be part of the team. The Olympics in 2024 are his big goal — at least for a potential spot in the 4×400-meter relay. “It's hard not to be noticed one way or another,” says the currently seventh in the annual list of the best German men and first in the under-23 rankings. “That's why all signs point to a certain new beginning for me, and I would like to start it with a scholarship in the USA,” says Graiani motivated.

In late fall, he traveled to the USA to search for a new training site at an American university – and after three interesting visits, he finally found what he was looking for at Bloomington State University in Indiana. He also looked at the University of Pittsburgh and Mississippi State, but ultimately chose Indiana University Bloomington, where he could pursue track and field on a full scholarship – on the one hand because of his good performance in the 400 meters – and on the other hand others would do so. Study “Sports Management”.

“Being in the USA is definitely a new motivation for me,” says the runner from the LG Stadtwerke Munich team. Graiani described his new opportunity: “In the United States, as a top-level athlete, you get everything you need.” From physiotherapists to excellent training facilities for running and strength training, everything is available at the highest level, as well as equal running partners, and the climate allows for year-round outdoor training.

This stay in the United States also changes his competitive plan for next year a little. In addition to the cancellation of the indoor season, he will now remain at Bloomington University from January to May. In mid-May and early June we'll be back home – and then there should be positive, fast times over the quarter mile. “I'm going to do a complete rebuild there and I'll have to step up a little because I'm a little behind,” the 22-year-old reveals, because in Munich he also left his coaches completely behind and will be with an advisor when he returns to continue working with his circle of friends. Vincent Graiani will now take this new path to continue achieving his goals. He wants to run so fast that no one can easily overtake him. Many other athletes would have given up long ago due to the lack of support from DLV – but Kirchheimer doesn't want to give up so quickly. (Ludwig Stover)