Italy took a risk this weekend by hosting national championships just two weeks before qualifications at the Olympic Games, and unfortunately Giorgia Villa became a casualty of this decision, injuring her foot in her final routine before becoming the national all-around champion for the third time in her career.
Villa had a pretty good outing before the injury, hitting her downgraded vault and then giving two of the strongest performances of the day on bars and beam. Unfortunately, a couple of short landings on floor – including a big stumble forward on her opening full-in and then again on her double tuck – caused her to limp off the floor with her head in her hands before she stopped to grab her foot.
She said she was fine immediately following the meet, which she won by nearly a point with a 54.350 total score, but she withdrew from finals on Sunday, and the federation said they will evaluate her foot over the next 48 hours before deciding whether they’d need to remove her from the Tokyo team, in which case Vanessa Ferrari – who did not compete this weekend – would step in for her, while Lara Mori – who hit beam and had the second-best score on floor in Saturday’s competition – would take over the individual spot.
There haven’t been any updates since yesterday, but Villa was seen leaving the arena on crutches, and is likely spending her time today meeting with doctors to determine whether she will be fit enough to compete in just 13 days.
The rest of the Olympic team all had falls or otherwise large mistakes, with beam and floor pretty weak overall, as has been the case with the Italian team this entire quad. Asia D’Amato won all-around silver with a 53.400 while Martina Maggio was just behind her with a 53.350 for bronze. Alice D’Amato had a miss on bars and didn’t compete floor, but her Yuchenko double on vault was the best of the meet, and she also debuted a triple full beam dismount, though the landing was a bit rough with a big stumble forward into the beam.
Maggio and the D’Amato twins all returned to compete hit routines in the bars final on Sunday, with Maggio winning silver with a 14.250 while the twins both earned a 13.850 to tie for bronze, and Maggio also went on to win gold in the beam final with a 13.650.
In the bars field, the three Olympians finished behind Brixia and Fiamme Oro teammate Elisa Iorio, who won the gold with a 14.350. A member of the bronze medal-winning team at world championships in 2019, Iorio has been recovering from an injury that kept her out of the Olympic team conversation, so she competed only on bars and beam here, and she had a fall on the latter in prelims. Her Stuttgart teammate Desiree Carofiglio is also returning from an injury and stuck to bars and beam, finishing fifth in the bars final, but falling on beam in prelims.
Rounding out the top eight in the all-around were first-year senior Veronica Mandriota in fourth with a 53.150, juniors Angela Andreoli in fifth with a 52.850 and Manila Esposito in sixth with a 51.150, 2019 junior worlds team member Camilla Campagnaro in seventh with a 51.100, and 2018 worlds team member Irene Lanza in eighth with a 50.800. Campangnaro won the gold on vault with a 13.975 average, while Andreoli took the floor title with a 13.600.
The men also competed this weekend, and Italy’s two individual Olympic qualifiers – all-arounder Ludovico Edalli and rings specialist Marco Lodadio – both performed very well. Edalli won the all-around with a clean performance, earning an 82.500, though he opted to not appear in any apparatus finals in an effort to stay healthy before flying to Tokyo. Lodadio earned a 14.750 on rings in prelims, and then upped that to a 15.100 in the final to take the gold by over half a point.
Stefano Patron won all-around silver with an 82.350, followed by Nicola Bartolini – who came close to earning an individual Olympics berth at Euros this year – with an 81.700 for bronze. Bartolini and his 2019 worlds teammate Niccolo Mozzato shared the floor title, Tommaso de Vecchis won pommels gold, Thomas Grasso had the highest vault average (his nearly-stuck Yurchenko triple earned a 15.200!), Lay Giannini won on p-bars, and Carlo Macchini earned a 14.150 to win gold on high bar – he crashed his double double layout dismount, but his 6.7 D score was more than enough to keep him at the top of the podium.
Article by Lauren Hopkins