KRAKOW – It is an Italy of gold and silver! The fourth day of the fencing program of the Krakow 2023 European Games marked the start of the key phase, with the Team events offering the continental titles and precious points for the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualification, and the blue team responded immediately with two medals in as many matches: on the platforms of the Tauron Arena, in fact, the blue women’s foil team is gold, which triumphs in the final against France 45-40, confirming itself as European Champion, while the men’s saber team again against the transalpines in the last act produced instead 45-42. It was a wonderful Wednesday for blue fencing in Poland.
In the foil competition, the CT Stefano Cerioni team is at the top of the podium with Martina Batini, Martina Favaretto, Francesca Palumbo and Alice Volpi. They were respectively the gold, the silver and the two bronzes of the Individual European Championship held ten days ago in Plovdiv, the strongest of the Old Continent were also confirmed in today’s Team Event in Poland.
Italy, seeded number 1 in the table, was admitted by right to the quarterfinals, where they debuted with a triumph and forceful assault against Ukraine, surpassed with a score of 35-26. With authority, focused and determined to go to the end, the Azzurri faced and beat Hungary in the semifinal, always kept at a “safe distance” by the Italian quartet, until the 45-35 jab earned them a pass to the final against France who, on the other side of the scoreboard, hit Germany (45-31) (third place after the success in the fight for bronze against the Hungarians).
The match for the gold against the transalpines was as always close and exciting. A battle in which the Azzurri led by Stefano Cerioni (at his side Giovanna Trillini, here on the coaching staff with Fabio Galli) had the merit of never giving up, always staying ahead, starting in the second set, even when the French They were trying to make up for it. After a fantastic race, Italy wanted this success with all their might, and they achieved it with Martina Favaretto who withstood the difficulties, Martina Batini and Francesca Palumbo who took over, finally with Alice Volpi who closed the last fraction against Ysaora Thibus, writing the final 45-40 that is worth the blue victory.
“Winning together is wonderful. We wanted at all costs to reconfirm ourselves, after the success of last year and after the splendid individual poker in Plovdiv. We did it with a performance of heart and compactness. And now to celebrate, with the next objective already in mind: the World Cup at the end of July in Milansaid the European champion Italian fencer, who played Mameli’s anthem in Krakow.
In the saber competition, the Italia Team quartet led by coach Nicola Zanotti, made up of Luca Curatoli, Michele Gallo, Matteo Neri and Luigi Samele, won precious silver.
Fluent debut in the round of 16 tie against Slovenia, defeated with a clear 45-13. Exciting, heart-pounding, the quarterfinals against Romania. Italy has almost always been in the lead, but the Romanian team has managed to stay “glued” to the Azzurri. At 34-34 an injury forced Matteo Neri to leave the podium in tears, amid hugs and encouragement from his teammates and the entire blue group, under the gaze of the Minister of Sport and Youth, Andrea Abodi. Michele Gallo entered the race scoring the attack of 35-34, Luca Curatoli tried the extra time, but it was still definitive in the sprint. And there, in the photo finish, Gigi Samele placed the last and decisive hit, that of 45-44, which put the Italian sabers in the semifinal against Germany. A perfect match, that of the Germans (later bronze medalist), in which the Azzurri immediately took the lead from the start, reaching the finish line with their arms raised with a score of 45-34, thus winning the final against France, which instead they beat Hungary (45-42).
In the last act, Nicola Zanotti’s boys (with him on the bench Leonardo Caserta, in the Cracovia squad with Andrea Aquili) led the match against the transalpines for a long time, who however never stopped believing in it and rejoiced by 45-42.
“In the heat of the moment, the regret for the barely touched gold prevails, but there is also the awareness of having won a silver that is worth a lot, also in perspective of the Olympic and World Qualifiers in Milan. Let’s start again with the great team spirit with which we drove all day, with a special thought for Matteo Neri, who was forced to withdraw due to injury.“, the comment of Gigi Samele, Luca Curatoli and Michele Gallo at the end of the competition.
On the wings of enthusiasm, Italy now looks to tomorrow when, on day 5 of the European Games in Poland, the team competition program will continue with the women’s épée (Italy will field Rossella Fiamingo, Federica Isola, Mara Navarria and Alberta Santuccio). and the men’s foil (blue team made up of Tommaso Marini, Alessio Foconi, Daniele Garozzo and Filippo Macchi).
EUROPEAN GAMES 2023 – FLOIL FEMALE TEAM | Krakow (Pol), June 28, 2023
Live results here
ITALY B. France 45-40
Germany b. Hungary 45-38
ITALY B. Hungary 45-35
France b. Germany 45-31
ITALY B. Ukraine 45-26
Classification (13): 1. ITALY, 2. France, 3. Germany, 4. Hungary
ITALY: Martina Batini, Martina Favaretto, Francesca Palumbo, Alice Volpi
EUROPEAN GAMES 2023 – MEN’S SABER BY TEAM | Krakow (Pol), June 28, 2023
Live results here
France b. ITALY 45-42
Germany b. Hungary 45-28
France b. Hungary 45-42
ITALY B. Germany 45-34
ITALY B. Romania 45-44
round of 16
ITALY B. Slovenia 45-13
Classification (16): 1. France, 2. ITALY, 3. Germany, 4. Hungary
ITALY: Luca Curatoli, Michele Gallo, Matteo Neri, Luigi Samele
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