The second annual Novara Cup will be held this weekend at the PalaTerdoppio in Novara, Italy, just outside of Milan.
This competition will be the final Worlds trial for the Italian gymnasts, with Spain and Romania expected to name their teams following the meet as well. Belgium, who have already named their team, will also compete, as will Jessica Lopez of Venezuela, who will use the meet as a final opportunity to test her routines in a competitive field before Worlds.
Italy will enter this competition with the disappointing news of Martina Rizzelli’s injury – she broke her foot on a beam dismount during training. Expected to be one of the key players in both the vault and bars lineups in Glasgow, her absence could greatly affect the Italian performance at Worlds, and consistency from the remaining gymnasts will be necessary in order to not compromise their qualification into the team final and therefore, the Olympic Games.
In the aftermath of her all-around win at the Italian Championships and given Rizzelli’s injury, it is basically sure that Tea Ugrin will fly to Glasgow with the remaining girls already listed on the nominative roster. She shows strength on bars, and while she can’t fully replace what they lose with Rizzelli, she should be a solid substitute. The good news is that Vanessa Ferrari is also back for her first time since the European Championships, though she too has been dealing with injury so it’s unclear what we can expect from her.
The Novara Cup will also mark the comeback for Spanish superstar Roxana Popa, who has been out for nearly a year due to a torn ACL sustained in training at the Mexican Open in 2014.
The teams attending are listed below.
The competition will be held this Saturday, October 10, in Novara, Italy at 4:30 pm local time (which is 10:30 am ET). There will be a livestream on the Italian Gymnastics Federation’s YouTube, but if you’re in Italy and want to see the action live, you can purchase tickets at the arena.
Article by Valeria Violi
Photo by Valentina Ricci