Photo courtesy of D. Angelella

Daniele Angelella, 29 years old (in March 30) from Quartino. Graduated in Lausanne in Medicine with full marks, he is currently completing his specialisation in internal medicine.

He has taken part in several championships including the World Military Championships in 2015, the Lausanne Diamond League meetings in 2017 and 2018, the Universiade in Taipei and the Francophone Games in 2017. In 2020 he raced at the Swiss Championships in the 200 m, finishing third in 21″38′.

At the time of the interview, he was working at the Zug hospital in the COVID-19 (and non-COVID depending on shifts) departments but is now working at the La Carità hospital in Locarno, the town where he was born.

Daniele sympathetically tells us his story and how he has managed to reconcile studies with agonism. There is no shortage of incredible feats to achieve his goals!

Determination, planning, and effectiveness are the magic words, but passion and pleasure for what you do really make the difference!

Enjoy your reading!

How old were you when you started running?

I started running incredibly early. I played football in primary school and I noticed that I was fast on the field. One day my fourth-grade teacher asked me to try athletics and take part in a competition. So, during the green week, my father picked me up to take me to a qualifying race of “The fastest boy in Ticino”. I won the Locarnese qualifying race and a month later the Ticino final. From that moment on, I began to realise that I was good at running. During primary and secondary school, I continued to play both football and athletics, first with the Vis Nova club in Contone and then with Virtus Locarno.

When you started athletics did you try out different disciplines or did you immediately concentrate on running?

During the first few years I tried out different disciplines, although it was quite clear that I was more inclined towards running. I did well in those disciplines where I could exploit my qualities, where my speed and leg strength helped me, a little less so in the throwing disciplines (laughs). At the end of secondary school, I turned towards short running, sprinting.

What is your discipline?

The 400 m, but over the last three years I have revised my objectives to reconcile them with my work commitments. I have therefore decided to focus on the 100 m and 200 m.

When did your first successes come? 

They came relatively early, in fourth grade I won my first “The fastest boy in Ticino”, then in fifth grade I took part in the Swiss final and came second. By the end of primary school, I was already the Swiss vice-champion in my category.

When did you decide to start competing?

At the end of secondary school. At first, I did both athletics and football, but I was more interested in the latter. During middle school I gradually started to devote more time to athletics than football until I decided to devote myself completely to athletics when I started high school in Locarno, partly because it would not have been easy to continue training with my football team.

What difficulties have you encountered?

I have always done sport for pleasure from the beginning until today, I do not remember having to face any difficulties. When I moved to Lausanne for my studies, there was a change of training place and group, even if my coach never changed (Daniele’s coach is his father, ed.). Going to live in a new place, training in new infrastructures, with different people, that was a little challenge. The same “challenge” was there when I moved to Zug in 2017.

You never thought about giving up competitive sport to focus on your studies?

No, never! For me, it is a pleasure, I have revised my competitive objectives to better reconcile them with my work ones.

How much do you train per week?

I train 3 or 4 times a week. In this period, I have learnt to have a certain flexibility because of the health situation and the resulting working hours. My profession requires me to be flexible.

Have examinations and hospital shifts hindered you in planning your training and competitions?

At university I did some crazy things (laughs). One year in June I had two exams in the same week, one on Monday and one on Friday’…in the middle of the week I went to Ireland to do a race! Another good adventure was when, the week before the federal written exam in medicine, I was in Ivory Coast to take part in the Francophonie Games. Two weeks after the federal written exam I went to Taipei for the Universiade and the following week I had the federal practical exam in medicine.
I took some risks (laughs) …but everything went well, both in terms of competitions and studies.

The second part of the interview will be published in mid-March.