The Italian elite gymnastics season will begin tomorrow, February 13, with the first Serie A meet held in Rimini.
This year, the championship series has changed its rules yet again. Each team will compete using a three-up two-count format, but at the end of the team all-around, the two best scores among the four non-counting scores are added to the team’s total.
The points system hasn’t changed, however – first place will receive 25 points, second gets 22, third gets 20, fourth gets 18, and so on down the line with teach team earning two points fewer than the last. At the final Serie A meet, all points earned by each team throughout the series are added together and the best-ranked team will be crowned champion of the Serie, winning the “Scudetto,” which is the name of the trophy awarded. Moreover, the four best teams will also qualify for the Golden League, to be held November 19-20 this year.
The bonus system related to the start values of the routines will also stay in place, aiming to push the girls to further upgrades. These bonuses include…
- Vault- 0.1 minimum d-score of 5.3, 0.2 minimum d-score of 5.8
- Bars– 0.1 flight element minimum D on high bar or low bar + element minimum B with or without turn on high bar, 0.2 D+D flight elements
- Beam– 0.1 series of three elements including dismount (minimum C) and mount, 0.2 for each minimum E acro element excluding dismount
- Floor– 0.2 for each acro element minimum E
The Brixia Brescia team still has the strongest lineup on paper, led by Vanessa Ferrari and Erika Fasana. Neither of these will actually perform at the first few meets of the Serie A, however, due to previous injuries. Ferrari is still dealing with tendinitis, though recently underwent a new therapy to get rid of this issue. She is back in the gym and has started to carefully get her skills back. On bars, where her injury least affects her performance, she is working on upgrades, including an Ono connected to a Jaeger.
Fasana was out of the gym for a couple of months due to her tibia stress microfracture that kept her from her best performance ability at worlds. She began training again last month, also with bars as a starting point. In both cases, the real focus is to be in the best possible shape for the Olympic Games this summer, as they should be locks for the Italian team.
Martina Rizzelli will finally come back after the injury that prevented her from competing at worlds, though she likely won’t be able to do all four apparatuses. Sofia Busato, the new senior known for her big vaults, should also be back. She tends to struggle with minor injuries every now and then, but she’s been working on upgrades and her brand new switch ring leap looks gorgeous.
Carlotta Ferlito will again lead the GAL Lissone team, and will be there tomorrow, though she will miss the second Serie A meet due to her participation in the American Cup. She may debut the double layout she’s been working on for some months. The floor mat of her gym in Milan isn’t the most springy, so she trains this skill only once a week when the national team gathers in front of Enrico Casella in Brescia. She is also working on a Mustafina turn to a double turn combo on floor, while on bars she is training a Ricna to pak salto connection.
The other star of the GAL lineup is Elisa Meneghini, who has shown some promising upgrades on beam – a side aerial to loso and a roundoff to layout full. Last year, she planned to add a double turn on this event, but the skill wasn’t very consistent so she pulled it out for the time being. However, if she could put all of these upgrades together, her routine could be quite useful from the team’s perspective.
Artistica ’81 will be led by 2015 world all-around finalist Tea Ugrin along with the veteran Giorgia Campana. Campana excels on bars and beam, and she is training a standing arabian on the latter, which would raise her d-score on the event.
Lara Mori, the captain of the Ginnica Giglio team, has a new acro series on beam as well. She is working on a roundoff layout and may again perform her triple full dismount, even though the under-rotation of this skill caused her a big injury last year.
In addition, international gymnasts will take part in the competition, allowed to contribute on two events apiece to help out some of the teams. This year, we’ll see the new Romanian senior Cristina Vrabie with GAL Lissone, Cintia Rodriguez of Spain with Estate ’83, Claudia Colom of Spain with Ginnica Giglio, and the Polish superstar Marta Pihan-Kulesza with Pro Lissone.
The competition in Rimini will begin at 3:30 pm local time (which is 9:30 am EST). There won’t be a livestream but the Italian Gymnastics Federation will upload videos on YouTube in the days following the competition. For more information, visit our coverage guide.
The Serie A continues in Ancona on March 5, followed by competitions in Rome on April 2 and then the grand finale in Turin on May 7.
|ARTISTICA ’81||BRIXIA BRESCIA|
Francesca Noemi Linari
|ESTATE ’83||FORZA E VIRTU 1892|
|FRATELLANZA SAVONESE||GAL LISSONE|
|GINNICA GIGLIO||GYMNASIUM TREVISO|
|OLOS GYM 2000||POLISPORTIVA CASELLINA|
|PRO LISSONE||WORLD SPORTING ACADEMY|
|Maria Vittoria Cocciolo
Article by Valeria Violi
Photo thanks to Valentina Ricci