Unity is strength, one for all and all for one, you can use many idioms that border on the duels on the platform. However, the fencing World Championship which opens in Milan, with qualifications from Saturday to Monday and then medals from Tuesday to Sunday 30 in the Allianz MiCo exhibition complex, lived in Italy under the banner of the team. Of the union. Of the block that gathers male and female athletes from different cities and schools, to coagulate them into a winning group.
Not that individualists are lacking, on the contrary, in the world ranking many are placed in the top positions with a view to medals. But our most solid chances come from the second part of the World Championship, that of the team trials from Friday to Sunday, as also demonstrated by the last world championship in Cairo: gold in women's foil (Palumbo, Errigo, Volpi, Favaretto) and to the male one (Garozzo, Bianchi, Foconi, Marini). And again: silver to the female sword (Isola, Navarria, Fiamingo, Santuccio) and masculine (Cimini, Di Veroli, Santarelli, Vismara). The after Aldo Montano started instead with a bronze for the sabers Curatoli, Samele, Torre and Gallo.
European Fencing Championships: Macchi gold in foil, Italy first in the medal table
In short, the Italian school has recovered after the disappointment of Tokyo, zero gold medals, taking full advantage of the shock given by the new weapon coaches, Stefano Cerioni above all in foil, but also the absence of the most popular Russians who won three gold medals at the Japanese Olympics. The story is known: only second-rate athletes will be admitted to Milan, who are not part of military groups such as CSKA or Dinamo, and who have not demonstrated in favor of the war, not even with a like. Ukrainians will boycott races where the few allowed Russians are present, but will participate in team races where Russia (and Belarus) are banned.
This picture has determined new balances in world fencing, which were already seen in Cairo and will be even more evident in these days, during competitions which will not only be a preview of Paris, but will also count as qualifications for the Olympics. An opportunity for a definitive rebirth for the Azzurri, who can't wait to be pushed by the home crowd made up in part of the fencing community, not only families but also athletes of all ages who grew up in the historic gyms alongside charismatic masters. The European Championships in June were already a dress rehearsal in Milan: 16 medals of which 5 gold, 4 blue in the first 4 places of the foil (Batini gold, Favaretto silver, Volpi and Palumbo bronze). In the World Cup Italy won at least one match in all six arms. After the seasons in which fencing was a business for a few countries, the sport has now become global and it can happen that you lose to South Americans and Africans, not to mention the many fearsome flags of Asia. Athletes from 116 nations are expected in Milan. But Italy's credentials remain high even in this historical phase, in which every victory is more sweaty than in the past.
The list is long, and the World Cup will squeeze so many names into a few hours. It will come back to the top Daniel Garozzogold in Rio and silver in Tokyo in the foil, or the novelties will assert themselves Philip Macchi And Thomas Marini, if so, can a 2022 world vice-champion be called? What will be the right name for the women's foil final, in a team that boasts world gold medals (Alice Volpi And Ariadne Errigo if he manages to qualify on Sunday), the fresh European gold Martina Batini and the announced champion of the future Martina Favaretto? Rossella Fiamingo will he follow up on the unequivocal signals of a world bronze in Cairo and a podium rediscovered in the Cup? The saber will strike with the bruised Tokyo silver medal Luigi Samelewith the always dangerous Luca Curatoli, or with young people like Michele Gallo who beat the current ruler, the Georgian, in Padua Sandro Bazadze? Demonstrating the boldness that number 2 in the ranking is finding in the sword David DiVeroli. Without forgetting the sabers, who have always been a compact and formidable team.
The World Cup begins, and there is enough to make it an event to remember, in a sport that has always belonged to the Italian DNA. The medals will be presented at the Arco della Pace, almost a reminder of Paris 2024: "Remember the Arc de Triomphe" underlines the president of the organizing committee Mark Ficherablue swordsman until the last Tokyo Olympics.