PROTAGONISTI

PROTAGONISTI

A SMALL STATE, GREAT CHAMPIONS

Despite being a small state with a population of only 30 thousand inhabitants, San Marino managed, over the years, to have Despite being a small state with a population of only 30 thousand inhabitants, San Marino managed, over the years, to have great champions in the most varied sports disciplines.
The most famous and representative athlete in San Marino is probably professional football player Massimo Bonini, midfielder of Juventus (with which he won a Scudetto, the Italian football league premier competition, the Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup) and Bologna. He was later coach of San Marino's national football team, in which he had previously played. Another football player deserving special mention is also Marco Macina, striker, who also played in the Serie A (for the clubs of Bologna, Arezzo, Parma, Milan AC, Reggiana and Ancona), although, unfortunately, his promising career was abruptly interrupted at 25 due to complications arising after he broke a ligament in his right-knee.
In motorcycling San Marino boasts two world titles won by Manuel Poggiali: the first in 2001, in 125cc class, riding a Gilera, and the second one in 2003, in 250cc class, riding an Aprilia. A further victory is the one by another champion from San Marino, Alex De Angelis, runner-up in 2003, in 125 cc class on his Aprilia. De Angelis, who also raced in 250cc class, is the only racer from San Marino having taken part in the MotoGP World Cup, where he competed until November 2015 (now he competes in Superbike World Championship).
As for motorcycling, a special mention deserves the participation of Alex Zanotti, a top athlete in rally raid, in the Dakar rally from 2010 onwards. Zanotti was also Baja World Champion in 2012 and 2013.
Car racing has always been a successful sport, with pilots from San Marino performing well in World and Italian Championships, both on the track and in rallies. We cannot forget the victories of Christian Montanari (Fia GT), Mirco Baldacci (Rally), Danilo Tomassini, Walter Meloni (Track), Stefano Valli (Track), Andrea Belluzzi (Track) and Alex Raschi (Rally).
As for Tennis, Francesca Guardigli, Domenico Vicini and the young Marco De Rossi accessed the world raking of ATP. Vicini is also the tennis player with more caps in the history of the Davis Cup and was inducted into the World Hall of Fame. Shooting, in the last years, was always able to line up world-level athletes. It is a shooter, Alessandra Perilli, who achieved San Marino's best result ever at the Olympic Games. She ranked 4th in London, in 2012, doing better than Francesco Nanni (rifle prone) in Los Angeles in 1984, when he ranked 5th with a score of 594 out of 600. In the Sydney's Olympics, in 2000, shooter Emanuela Felici ranked 7th in trap competitions: she obtained the same result at the following Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, while her team mate Francesco Amici ranked 7th in the same category.
In cycling, San Marino boasts many a success story thanks to Daniela Veronesi; whereas in baseball, the team T&A San Marino won 4 scudettos, 2 Italian
National Championships and 3 European Cups.ps.