Athletics: May fed up with Italian lot

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Fiona May, the British-born long jumper, has precipitated a row with her bosses at the Italian athletics federation over training - four years after leaving this country in disgust at the lack of facilities and help.

May, an Olympic silver medallist who is originally from Slough but took Italian nationality after moving there in 1993, revealed yesterday that she was fed up with the federation's training centre at Formia and would quit it.

Instead, May wants to be coached by her husband, the top Italian pole vaulter Gianni Iapichino, and to return to a less pressured and more British style of athletics.

"I think I've lost the good British habits and picked up the bad Italian ones," she said. "Here in Italy, everything is either over-dramatised or over-trivialised.

"It's not that I mind being famous, I just want to be able to enjoy life and to have fun while I'm training."

The federation president, Gianni Gola, said: "We've given her everything she asked us for. Now, if she wants to change we're willing, once again, to listen to her and give her what she wants.

"But she can't hold us up to ridicule like this, without having told us beforehand what she wanted to do."