Fencing World Championships 2023, Alberta Santuccio in the final. Bronze Navarria – Corriere.it

Fencing World Championships 2023, Alberta Santuccio in the final.  Bronze Navarria - Corriere.it


Of Flavio Vanetti

First medals for the Italian expedition: Alberta Santuccio beat Mara Navarria in the semifinals and now the gold is played against the French Candassamy

The Italy of fencing begins the hunt for the podiums of the World Cup in Milan with two medals in women’s epee thanks to Alberta Santuccio (who hits the final) and Mara Navarria (defeated in the semifinals but still with a significant bronze around her neck), regretting a third in the same weapon (Rossella Fiamingo throws herself away after leading 8-5 over the Chinese Sun Yiven) and perhaps even a fourth with the «millennial» saber Michele Gallo. But let’s go in order. The final conquered by Santuccio from Catania, born in 1994, in the first great individual acute after the trophies with the team (including the Olympic bronze in Tokyo and the silver a year ago at the World Cup in Cairo) was a “Sicilian tribute” to Sergio Mattarella.

After the indiscretion of a possible forfait had circulated in the morning, the President of the Republic arrived in Milan as planned and was the first head of state in history to inaugurate a World Championship of blades. Alberta gave him a gift, by making a comeback in the semifinal Mara la Friuli, who took 12-9 but then was unable to find the decisive paw. For Navarria, world champion in 2018 in Wuxi, it is still a great podium, which is paired with the silver medal last June at the European Championship in Plovdiv. In short, the great veteran (38 years old) knows how to strike again, even if this time Santuccio took the limelight, capable of taking many important scalps on the first day of the finals: to get to the Italian derby of the semifinals: for example, she had to overcome the Brazilian, and former blue as well as former world champion, Nathalie Moellhausen, and in the quarter-final the French Louise Marie, the one who in Bulgaria had denied the gold in Navarria.

The gold medal would have been contested by another transalpine, Marie-Flore Candassamy, one who like Alberta had so far built her palmarès mostly in team competitions. We were talking about Fiamingo. She was really one step away from being on the podium in her turn, but she once again had a failure at the most beautiful. The Chinese caught it again on 8-8 and, not having priority in favor in the extra minute, went on the attack closing on 9-8. For Rossella, a lot of regrets, a thought for her boyfriend Gregorio Paltrinieri (“Too bad, I could have climbed the podium like he did at the World Swimming Championships”) and a lucid analysis which, however, does not absolve her: “It’s tiring to digest a defeat like this. I didn’t take advantage of the moment when I closed well in defense. Then certain hits never came to me and I had to take refuge in the play-off minute, knowing that it was my weakness: in the last five matches in which this situation has arisen I have always lost».

It is the main item of the chapter «azzurri regrets», in which all in all there can also be the comeback failed by Michele Gallo in the saber: in the quarter-final against the Egyptian Ziad Elsissy he finished down 6-11, but the Salernitan was able to come back up to 14-14, losing in the decisive hit (14-15). However, Michele was born in 2001: as if to say that the future belongs to him. While Riccardo Nuccio went out in the thirty-second, Gigi Samele and Luca Curatoli had an impact on the toughness of the round of 16: the silver medalist from Tokyo lost badly (15-6) against the American Derschwitz; instead Curatoli wasn’t able to do much against Aaron Szilagyi, who is not by chance a tri-Olympic undefeated since London 2012. Losing 15-12 against this champion – moreover the Hungarian made his comeback in the semifinal against Derschwitz, losing in a surprising way – is acceptable, but it also explains how Luca continues to lack that extra something to hook the orbit of the greats of the edged weapon.

July 25, 2023 (change July 25, 2023 | 5:59 pm)


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