The final meet of the Italian Serie A will take place at PalaSele in Eboli today, and will serve as a key competition for the selection of the team that will take part in the upcoming world championships in Montreal.
Following the Italian Championships a couple of weeks ago, national team director Enrico Casella released the nominative list, which includes Lara Mori, Desiree Carofiglio, Francesca Linari, and Sara Berardinelli, although to this day only Mori has been confirmed as someone who will definitely travel to Montreal while the other three spots are still up for grabs.
Overall, the senior gymnasts’ performances at nationals were quite shaky, with the juniors stealing the show, and Italy isn’t going to factor much into the podiums in Montreal. But there are still three spots that need to be officially filled, and the gymnasts who prove their competition readiness in Eboli will grab them.
The big and quite unexpected piece of news is that at this meet, 26-year-old three-time Olympian Vanessa Ferrari will make her official comeback since last appearing at the Olympic Games, and she will be fighting for one of those remaining worlds spots. On the one hand, it’s great that the girl still has the fire to compete towards Tokyo 2020, though rushing a comeback to save the nation once again could put that goal in jeopardy, given that despite the surgery she had underwent, her tendon stills troubles her.
To add a bit of drama to the competition, Carlotta Ferlito will not participate in the last meet of the Serie A. There have been no official statements as to the reason why she won’t be allowed to compete, although it’s apparent it concerns bureaucratic issues. Having taken a break after the Games, Ferlito didn’t compete in the first three Serie A meets with GAL Lissone, the club she was part of before joining the army sports club and for which she usually competes on loan, but it’s still unclear whether it was a club decision or if there is a specific rule that prevents her from joining them to test her routines towards Montreal.
In Perugia, Ferlito had troubles throughout the weekend, especially on beam where she fell twice and thus missed the event final; however, she delivered a beautifully choreographed and catchy floor routine using the movie La La Land‘s soundtrack, which could become pretty useful for Italy once she’s got all her skills back.
Elisa Meneghini and Enus Mariani had their ups and downs at nationals as well, with multiple falls and not so solid performances which makes their selection for worlds extremely unlikely. On the contrary, Erika Fasana made a good season debut on bars, where she didn’t commit any major mistakes on either day. After the surgery she had following the Olympics, she’s focusing on the apparatus which is less demanding tibia-wise, but will soon resume training on all events.
Mori didn’t have a perfect day in the all-around competition, though she delivered solid routines at event finals. She nailed both her bars and floor routines, winning the national title on the latter while performing a stuck double layout (albeit a bit piked), a Memmel to illusion turn, 2½ full to full layout, a full- in and a triple full, for a score of 13.2.
The true rockstars of the Italian Championships were the bunch of talented 2003 juniors led by Elisa Iorio, who won the national all-around title with a score of 54.400, followed by the D’Amato twins, with Asia winning the silver and Alice the bronze.
The youngsters collected many medals at event finals too, showing that Italy’s prospects towards Tokyo are more than promising. Giorgia Villa, who made her comeback after injuring her Achilles in Jesolo this spring, deserves a special mention as she managed to win the bars title with a clean routine that included Tkachev to Pak to Chow to bail, giant full, and a full-in dismount.
The fourth and final Serie A will begin today at 3:30 pm local time (9:30 ET) and will be livestreamed on Volare, the official channel of the Italian federation.
Article by Valeria Violi
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