EDGE Rewind: Swinging 'Dongle' Ruins Italian Runner's Race

Saturday January 28, 2023
Originally published on August 5, 2022

Alberto Nonino
Alberto Nonino  (Source:Instagram)

EDGE is reaching into its archive and sharing some of our favorite stories from the past.

Italian runner Alberto Nonino found himself in an embarrassing place while running the 400-metre race at the 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships this week in Santiago de Cali, Colombia: his 'dongle' (as a sports journalist nicknamed his penis) kept falling out of his pants mid-sprint.

Sports journalist David Sanchez de Castro tweeted, according to the website the Daily Star: "Last series of the 400 meters decathlon. The Italian Alberto Nonino in lane five begins very well but crosses the finishing line last. He had his penis out, literally."

He clarified a bit later: "Perhaps I've explained myself poorly. His penis escaped out of the side of his shorts and he had to hold it because it wasn't allowing him to run properly which is normal when your dongle is swinging from side to side."

Italian runner  Alberto Nonino 
Italian runner Alberto Nonino   

"He desperately tried to rectify the issue as his legs pounded the pavement, however it seems like nothing worked," reports the website Sports Bible.

Despite a strong start, he finished last with a time of 51.57 seconds.

But the 18-year-old Nonino took to Instagram Stories to explain the situation: "I just want to talk to you a little bit about what is going on in blogs and social media. I am aware of the situation and it was obviously an accident. I am trying to laugh about it right now, but I felt terrible immediately after the race and I'm thankful to my friends and family for helping me get over what happened a few hours later."

The 18-year-old said it's lucky that he's a resilient person as this type of incident could be devastating to someone else, writes Sports Bible.

"The journalistic world worries about cases of bullying throughout Italy and around the world and then publishes these articles that for a more sensitive person could have done a lot of harm," he added, according to the Daily Star.

The decathlon is an event that requires athletes to compete in 10 separate events.
Over two days, competitors have to take part in a 100 metre sprint, long jump, shot-put, high jump, 400 metre run, 110 metre hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1,500 metres run.