Double Paralympic 100 metres champion Martina Caironi is among Italian athletes training on sections of track sent to them during lockdown by Mondo, the company which has supplied track and field surfaces for the last 10 Olympic Games.
Others to benefit have been Ayomide Folorunso, the 2017 European under-23 400m hurdles champion, Italian high jump champion Elena Vallortigara, Italian 400m record holder Davide Re, who topped last year’s European list, and Luca Lai, third in this year’s European indoor 60m list with 6.57 seconds.
While some of these athletes have been able to return to normal training facilities following a loosening of pandemic restrictions, the provision has been particularly vital for the 30-year-old Caironi, who trains in Bologna, where restrictions have remained in place.
In a video clip recorded for Mondo after receiving the strip of track, Caironi – a T42 athlete who had her left leg amputated after a 2007 motorbike crash - explained that being able to train on the track was preventing injuries.
"The Mondo track has finally arrived," Caironi says.
"It smells new, it smells of spring, and for me it is super-important because I have the spikes already incorporated on the prosthesis.
"Therefore being able to train at home in the courtyard on this track is fundamental."
Caironi, who also took long jump silver at the Rio 2016 Games, adds: "There are 10 metres on which I can skip and do some starts, and then I will also try to do some jumps with the jumping prosthesis.
"It is beautiful because this way it reduces the impact on my back.
"It is not the same as running on a surface like concrete with the shoe."
The Mondo initiative was prompted by a suggestion from Italian sports agent Chiara Davini.
A Mondo statement read: "Each athlete received a piece of Mondo track customised to their home space.
"Since Mondo produces prefabricated tracks, immediately after reopening after the COVID-19 shutdown, we cut our standard rolls (which are about 12/15 linear metres long) into 5-metre pieces, rolled them up, and packed them to be shipped.
"The product supplied to the athletes was Sportflex SX - it is a professional product which has a thickness of 13.5 mm."
Italy has been one of the nations hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, with in excess of 32,000 people losing their lives, but restrictions on movement are starting to be lifted, meaning sport can start to plot its return.