Valentina Petrillo set a new record in the women’s 200-meter indoor track in the Master category, by running in 26.27, a time that never before had any woman managed at this distance.
This would be great if Petrillo wasn’t a transsexual athlete from Italy. She continues to make headlines and break records in women’s track and field. Despite facing criticism and controversy from some of her rivals.
The latest controversy dates back to the Ancona races: a week ago she won the 200 and 400 meters at the Italian championships.
Formerly known as Fabrizio, Petrillo had a successful career in track and field before transitioning. She competed in the Paralympic category due to her vision problems caused by a degenerative eye disease.
However, after beginning her gender transition a few years ago, she started competing in the female category.
Petrillo’s recent achievement was setting a new record in the women’s 200-meter indoor track in the Master category by running in 26.27 seconds, a time that no woman had ever achieved before at this distance. This victory marks her eighth national title, but her success has not come without its share of criticism.
Several athletes signed a petition months ago, denouncing Petrillo’s participation and highlighting her rival’s physical superiority. Some of her competitors have expressed feeling discriminated against and have stated that they do not feel they compete on equal footing with Petrillo.
Petrillo might even still have her gonads. She was asked to address social media reports about awkwardness in the changing rooms. Corriere sport reports:
Interviewer: On social media there are those who have expressed discomfort in sharing the shower with a person who, at present, has the body of a man.
Petrillo: “I don’t think whoever wrote that comment has ever seen male genitalia. And no one has ever seen me naked anyway. I take a shower in my bathing suit; nor do I see women, having severe vision problems.'”
Ex-Australian basketball player Andrew Bogut has been one of Petrillo’s most vocal critics, expressing his concerns about transgender eligibility in sports. He recently took aim at Petrillo after her latest victory, posting a sarcastic tweet that sparked a wider debate on the topic.
Bogut posted a sarcastic tweet, saying: “Stunning and brave Queen!”
Others seemed to agree.
Aussie tennis star Thanasi Kokkinakis replied: “Seems fair…”
While ESPN broadcaster Sage Steele added: “Watched this video. Wish I hadn’t. Insanity.”
The interview from Corriera also produced this gem:
Many speak of biological injustice, accusing it of stealing securities. Basically, being a man and not being able to compete with women.
«A male athlete, in Ancona, accused me of wanting to win easy and invited me to run in his category. To all these people, I would like to point out that I respect the rules, I do not accept accusations based on nothing. I am a victim of gender hatred, as serious as xenophobia towards an athlete who is not considered Italian because of color, like Paola Egonu ».
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.