The last meet of the Italian Serie A held in Rimini saw the triumph of the Brixia Brescia team, which won the meet with a score of 167.650, earning 25 points toward their overall series ranking. They were followed by Artistica ’81 Trieste, which placed second with a 166.700 (22 points), while GAL Lissone got the last spot on the podium with a score of 165.000 (20 points).
Brixia Brescia also won the final trophy, the “Scudetto,” and was named one of four teams to qualify to this year’s Golden League along with Artistica 81 Trieste, GAL Lissone, and Forza e Virtù 1892 Novi Ligure.
The live stream began with an interview with national team director Enrico Casella, who revealed to the commentators the names of the three gymnasts who will fly to Baku for the European Olympic Games: Giorgia Campana, Tea Ugrin, and Alessia Leolini.
The aim of the Italian Federation is to test as many gymnasts as possible between the European Championships and the European Games in order to verify how each single gymnasts could contribute to the team in Glasgow, where the main purpose is to earn the direct qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio. Thus it was decided that none of the gymnasts who competed in Montpellier would also go to Baku.
Brixia Brescia dominated the meet, earning good scores on all the four apparatuses. This time, the team captain Vanessa Ferrari, who is resting after her efforts in Montpellier, could not help out, but the team welcomed back Sofia Busato, the promising junior who missed the previous meets due to a foot injury. She didn’t disappoint the expectation for her, delivering a huge DTY (with a step back), the prettiest in terms of form among the Italian girls, earning a 15.000. She has a powerful block, and if I had to bet on an Italian girl to debut an Amanar someday, I’d pick her.
Busato also performed on bars, earning a 13.100 for a routine that featured a Chow to pak (where she had a significant leg separation), Maloney to bail to Ray, stalder full, Tkachev, and a double pike dismount with a little hop. Keep your eyes on her, because she’s eligible for Rio!
After her consistent performance at Euros last month, Martina Rizzelli was again able to contribute a great deal to the team, earning a 14.600 for her DTY and then a 14.150 for her bar routine, which had 6.0 d-score (including a Ricna to pak, Maloney to bail to Ray, and a stalder full to a stuck full-in. She also performed on beam, where she scored a 12.800.
Erika Fasana didn’t perform on all four apparatuses. She also downgraded her floor routine a bit to a d-score of 5.7, opting for a DLO (which she stuck), a full-in that she landed with a hop, and then she hit her Memmel turn and finished with a double pike (almost stuck). On bars, she risked a fall but she stayed on the bar overarching her giant full, and she ended the routine with a perfectly stuck DLO dismount.
After the flu that kept her from competing at the Serie A meet in Florence, Lavinia Marongiu came back with a solid beam routine for a score of 14.000 (d-score 5.8), and on vault she performed an FTY earning a 13.900.
Among the Artistica ’81 Trieste team’s gymnasts, Ugrin and Campana were brilliant, putting up clean routines that led the team onto the podium. Ugrin performed an excellent routine on beam, where she hit her not-so-difficult set (5.5 d-score) with grace and extreme elegance, earning an e-score of 8.7 for a total score of 14.200. Her routine included a split jump to wolf jump, full turn, bhs to layout step out, switch ring leap, a beautiful switch half, side aerial, ring leap, side somersault, and a double full dismount. If she can upgrade her dismount to a skill of a D value in time for Baku, she could earn pretty good scores for the team final score.
On bars, she performed a Maloney to bail, an inbar full connected to a Geinger, an inbar half, and a full-in dismount that she landed with her chest down and took a step forward for a score of 14.150. She earned a 14.150 for her FTY, while she scored a 13.600 for her graceful floor routine.
It seems that Campana completely overcame the foot injury that prevented her to compete at her full potential at the previous Serie A meets. She obtained a huge 14.650 on beam for a 6.1 d-score routine, performing an aerial walkover to wolf jump, a switch ring (with a wobble), a ring leap, full turn, side somersault, and finished with a double pike dismount (but she took a step back). On vault she showed a FTY, scoring a 13.650, while on floor she earned a 13.200.
GAL Lissone had a strong beam rotation as well. Carlotta Ferlito earned a 14.900 for a 6-2 d-score routine, which included an aerial walkover to sheep jump, bhs to bhs to layout on two feet (which looked a bit piked), a switch leap to back tuck (she actually had a tiny adjustment between the two skills, so probably the connection wasn’t credited), full turn (where she had an uncharacteristic balance check), split jump to wolf jump, side aerial, switch ring leap, and a 2.5 full dismount (with some form issues and a little hop).
Ferlito also earned a 13.300 for her 1.5 Yurchenko (her body looked tucked and she landed the vault oob). On bars, she performed a Maloney to bail to Ray, a straddled jaeger, and finished with a double front dismount for a 13.350. Finally, on floor she showed an almost stuck full-in, a stuck triple twist (again with form issues), Memmel turn, Ferrari leap, and a double pike with a hop, for a score of 13.600.
Elisa Meneghini got back to her full potential after the back pain she has struggled with in the past months, and delivered a solid performance on beam, showing a full turn, aerial walkover to Sissone to wolf jump, side aerial, switch ring leap (but the rear leg is still low since she mustn’t force her back), bhs to bhs to loso (here she had a balance check), sheep jump, side somersault, switch leap to back tuck (with a wobble), and finished with a double pike dismount (and a little hop) for a score of 14.050, including a 0.1 overtime deduction.
On vault she performed a clean FTY for a score of 14.300, while on bars she earned a 13.350. Then, on floor she got back all of the tumbling in her repertoire, delivering a DLO that she stuck but unfortunately she landed it oob (0.3 deduction), a piked full-in, a double tuck with a hop and a stuck double pike, for a score of 13.650.
But the big surprise of the day for the team was the performance delivered by the Romanian junior guest Ioana Crisan, who earned the highest score of the day on beam, a 15.100 for a 6.5 d- score, which featured a bhs step out to layout step out, a switch leap to straddled jump 1⁄4 (though the connection was pretty slow), bhs step out to bhs to layout on two feet (the form was really beautiful), a side somersault (with a wobble), full turn, switch half, split jump to piked jump, side aerial, and finished with a double tuck with a hop. This routine was impressive, and even though she won’t be eligible for Rio, if she keeps this consistency she may help the Romanian team a lot with their depth problem in the future. On floor she earned only a 12.800 because she went oob two times, for a total deduction of 0.6.
Pro Lissone placed fourth with a score of 155.700. The Polish superstar Marta Pihan-Kulesza delivered a good bars set for a score of 14.200, while on beam she scored a 13.700, suffering a 0.1 overtime deduction.
Enus Mariani is still struggling with her foot; she again performed a watered-down routine on bars with a simple layout dismount for a score of 13.100, but she still can’t tumble and consequently she can’t train the other events, which prevented her to be selected for Baku.
Arianna Rocca, the leader of Forza e Virtù 1892 Novi Ligure, showed a great vault performance in Jesolo, but didn’t have a great day here. She fell on her DTY, and then she put one hand down on the mat on her double pike beam dismount, after an otherwise consistent routine that featured a straddle jump 1⁄4, a round-off to layout on two feet, aerial walkover to switch leap to back tuck, full turn, side aerial, split jump to wolf jump, and a side somersault. Still, she scored a 13.750, not bad considering she had to count a fall. Rocca was likely highly considered for the Baku team, but she couldn’t be selected as she’ll be sitting her high school final exams in June.
Article by Valeria Violi