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I think regular Blog reader realize I have been living in Rome, Italy for nearly 2 years.
One of the little known trivia facts is basketball player Kobe Bryant lived in Rieti, Italy for 6 years while his father played professional basketball. His dad, Joe Bryant, played in Rieti from 1984 to 1992. To this day, Kobe is fluent in Italian, Spanish, and of course English.
Rieti is a popular place. Especially for Track and its fast times for both 100 meters and especially 800 meters.. You can read some of the past articles here:
- Reiti 100 meters – The Best Race of the Year?
- Myth Busters – 800 meters in Rieti
- David Rudisha 800m World Record Video: 1:41.01
- Rieti 2009 Revisited – David Rudisha Video and others
- Rieti Italy Revisited
But Rieti is also home to a new Track and Field hero, and that is Andrew Howe. He is also American born and moved to Italy at 7 years old when his Mom married an Italian.
His mother, René Felton, is a former U.S. Jr. College National Record in the 100 meter hurdles and still competed in the Masters W45 80mH category. She was also coached by Tommie Smith!
It’s a small word, isn’t it?
Andrew Howe is known to most Americans by his early celebration at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, where he “won” the silver medal with his last jump of 8.47. Here is the video on YouTube. He was probably overjoyed with emotion with his new PB and Italian National record and forgot Irving Saladino had one final jump remaining. We all know the ending of the story and Saladino jumped 8.57 to win the competition. Perhaps he was fueled by the celebration?
Still, a PR is a PR, regardless of the podium step number.
In 2010, Howe ran a 200 meters at the end of the season, easing up in a 20.30!
This should be of no surprise when you consider his personal bests are 100m 10.27 (in 2006), 200m 20.28 (in 2004), 400m 46.03 (in 2006) plus his long jump PB of 8.47m. Those are a nice set of credentials for any coach… or your Mother!
Watch for him in 2011.