Taekwondo, Botta: “2020 black, but I’ll start stronger. And the blues …”

Second intervention on the left shoulder for the captain of the Italian taekwondo team Roberto Botta, who assures: “I’ll be back in shape soon. The team? Is it ready to leave its mark”

Fortune in misfortune. The stop from competitions, the lockdown, then the injury and the operation: 2020 for Roberto Botta was certainly not the brightest year, but if the months without dobok have been suffering, it must still be admitted that there is no ‘was a better time to stop than this, when even the world of taekwondo itself is on hiatus due to the pandemic. For the Italian captain it is a positive note: “It would have been better not to get hurt, of course, but now I still have time to fix my left shoulder and get back in shape”. After the so-called “Latarjet surgery” in August, that is shoulder stabilization, Roberto will now have to undergo a second operation: “Christmas under the knife, but when I come back I will be stronger”. And we must take his word for it because the 2019 European bronze has so far proved that it can be an excellent blue striker in view of Tokyo 2021.

Roberto, what a difficult 2020 …
“Enough. For 70% of this year I was stopped: three months of lockdown, then the injury, an operation and now again I will be back under the knife. During the preparation for July I injured my left shoulder and during the mid-August period I underwent surgery, that of Latarjet, and then went back to training as a team. Unfortunately a week ago I fell right on that shoulder and now I have the second surgery planned before Christmas “.

So this summer is the only real preparation you managed to do?

“Yes, and absurdly it was the best of my entire career. Following the innovative program of our technical director Claudio Nolano, we trained hard, even at night. It was wonderful, we were all on track. competitions, that the Olympic qualifications had been postponed, we kept motivation high by always giving our best and taking advantage of it to improve and work on our weak points “.

How long do you miss the races?
“A lot. Staying away from the races is very bad. I haven’t fought for almost a year, it seems incredible. Claudio Nolano, however, helped us in this by often putting us in competition with each other, with exercises or scoring fights. He motivated us properly. “.

As captain, how do you see the rest of the team?

“We are all super charged and we can’t wait to get back to fighting. The boys have made a monstrous preparation and now they are ready in every respect. A year of stoppage is hard to swallow, but we are a young and experienced national team. great growth, I’m sure we will show how much we are worth also in the new year “.

The blue program between the end of the year and the beginning of 2021?

“We will only stop for ten days from 23 December to 3 January and then we will return to the“ Giulio Onesti ”Olympic Training Center in Acqua Acetosa. We finish pushing hard and we will leave again without wasting time because we can’t wait to resume the competitive year. We are strong, and our strength lies in the team, we support each other and this will also be the key to our success. “

A year ago the European bronze, what are your goals today?

“First of all, the operation and getting back into shape as soon as possible. Then reconfirm myself for the 2021 European Championships, aiming even higher, and finally the Olympic qualifications: Tokyo 2021 is my dream and I will fight until the end to reach it”.

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Taekwondo, Botta: “2020 black, but I’ll start stronger. And the blues …”