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Italy Announces Provisional World Championships Team

Lara Mori headlines Italy's World championships team. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni Four gymnasts have been provisionally named to...

Lara Mori headlines Italy's World championships team. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

Four gymnasts have been provisionally named to Italy’s World championships team. These are Lara Mori, Sara Berardinelli, DesirĂ©e Carofiglio and Francesca Noemi Linari. Up to this point, however, Lara Mori is the only gymnast to have secured her official spot on the team.

The announcement of the team came days after national head coach Enrico Casella dispiritingly affirmed that he was having trouble naming the World championships team. Except for Mori, who recently upgraded bars and floor and seems likely to compete in the all around, Casella explained, no one else is showing all around potential, and in general, no one seems competition-ready. The Italian championships last week showed indeed lack of depth among Italy’s senior class. The competition, where seniors and juniors competed together, was dominated by the juniors, who won vault (Asia d’Amato), bars (Giorgia Villa) and all three all around medals (Elisa Iorio, Asia d’Amato and Alice d’Amato). Top seniors Vanessa Ferrari, Carlotta Ferlito, Elisa Meneghini and Erika Fasana are all recovering from injury, while Martina Maggio injured her knee a couple of weeks ago, putting an end to her World championship preparation.

The lack of depth of this year’s Italian team, however, should not worry fans. Italy’s top seniors are still hungry for medals and are just taking it easy in the post-Olympic year, while Italy’s juniors are among the best in the world. The Italian Gymnastics Federation is investing a lot of money on its junior gymnasts – called FATE (fairies) – and has one goal in mind: the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. So do not despair, and watch out instead!

As for now, the upcoming World championships is a good opportunity for the current and healthy Italian seniors to get some international experience, and hopefully to qualify for some finals. It is a post-Olympic year, no one looks super polished and judges still need time to adjust to the new scoring system. You never know what could happen!

Lara Mori, 18, won gold on floor at the Italian championships last week with a 13.200. She competed at two World championships before, in 2014 in Nanning and in 2015 in Glasgow. Her best placement was a twelfth place on floor in qualifications in 2014. At the World championships in 2015, she competed in the all around and helped Italy qualify for the Olympic Games in fifth place.

Sara Berardinelli, 16, is a first-year senior. She won the balance beam title at the recent Italian championships with a 13.300 and was the best all arounder of the senior group, finishing fifth. She competed at the junior European championships in 2016, where she finished fourth with the team and sixteenth on the uneven bars. She competed at the 2017 Jesolo Trophy last March and was thirtieth in the all around.

Desirée Carofiglio, 17, was second on vault and fourth on floor at the Italian championships. She also competed at the 2017 Jesolo Trophy last March and finished twenty-first in the all around.

Francesca Noemi Linari, 16, is another first-year senior. She tied for fourth place with Carofiglio on floor at the Italian championships, and was tenth in the all around. She also competed at the 2017 Jesolo Trophy, and finished fourteenth in the all around.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua

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