The expedition ends in disappointment and poisons. The blue coach replies to the former champion: “Unheard of verbal violence”
It thundered so much that it rained. And the rags flew. The elimination of the foil players in the quarters by Japan – an opponent who has long been able to put us in difficulty and who after being down for 8 out of 9 matches took the last one, closing at 45-42 and skewered someone like Daniele Garozzo , Olympic champion 2016 and vice-champion in Tokyo -, delivers the fencing to a balance of quantity (five medals, 3 silver and 2 bronze: only Russia, numerically, has done better) but without that “top” quality that makes the difference is that only gold can donate. So the photography of Tokyo 2020 can only be this, like it or not: it is the first time in 41 years (the previous one is that of Moscow 1980) that the blades of Italy close without at least an Olympic title. When history presents itself in these terms, it cannot go well. The president of Coni, Malagò, also thinks so, who has seen less than expected extracted from the traditional Italian “mine” and who now speaks of an “environment to be rebuilt”.
We will talk about it again, because first we have to face the flight of rags. First of all they involve the foil coach, Andrea Cipressa. After the team bronze of his former foil colleagues, Elisa Di Francisca attacked him judging him “lacking in personality and inadequate for the role” and for this undergoing the blame of Julio Velasco, currently a television commentator and called to express himself on the story. At the Games over for him, the one who was also the coach of the London Olympian, decided to reply harshly. “I am aware – says Cipressa – of the work to be done and I certainly do not hide behind a finger. But I badly digest the gratuitous malice and rudeness. Whoever wins celebrates and whoever loses learns. I have no desire to censor the criticisms leveled at me, as long as they are constructive and not limited to unprecedented verbal violence and heavy and gratuitous insults that arise from hatred, personal dislikes and feuds of opposing factions. I am ready for confrontation and a “mea culpa” if necessary. But I do not accept disgusting turnarounds from those who, until recently, hailed me with messages of esteem, appreciation and affection. The reference is to those who, from the height of their role as “columnist”, spit poison into the dish in which they ate, also diminishing the value of athletes who, even if not what they hoped for, have obtained an Olympic result worthy of respect, is not absolutely veiled, indeed “.
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For Velasco, however, there are words of gratitude: “I thank him for having expressed in a clear and explicit way a thought that many, fortunately, share. I don’t look for justifications for victories or defeats: from one and the other we learn and build. Sometimes, however, being silent is of undisputed refinement. If a man does his best, what more could you want? It happens that, even when you have worked hard and taken care of every detail, things do not go as you had dreamed. Those who compete to win know that defeat is part of the game. Even the hottest “. Cipressa’s reaction is understandable, but now it’s time to go beyond the emotionality of facts and controversies. We need an analysis that involves all fencing, even if a specific one will be made on the foil, a historic towing weapon and medals. In addition to giving confidence to young people, it will be necessary to evaluate the organization of the sector and the figure of Cipressa cannot be excluded from the agenda, despite having the right to reapply if he will elaborate an adequate project. Elisa Di Francisca suggested reprising Stefano Cerioni, coach of the London triumphs and then capable of doing very well in Russia: beyond the reaction of his successor, Cipressa, it is an option to be evaluated. But there are also those who propose to recall Andrea Magro, who won 16 medals and who, as a commentator on the chat of the Schermaitalia site recalled, “in the 14 years of his mandates he has been able to coexist 4 prima donnas, making them row in the same direction” . We add that Magro, who later ended up in Japan, worked on the Olympic foil program with results to be seen (2 athletes in 8: in the discipline they started from zero or almost), while in Germany he was able to bring Leonie Ebert to the fore. TOTAL MEDALS
To question oneself, without preconceptions, to try to improve is a sign of common sense. Italian fencing must have the courage to do it in general terms, not just putting your hands on the foil. That “hole” of gold after 41 years is like a painful tooth, to be entrusted to a good dentist. This “quantity” is not to be despised and thrown away, but it is not enough and satisfies either. If then flops and “near goals” are included in the judgment, it could even contain alarm messages. Deciphering them will be a priority. In the meantime, here is the vote for the blue blades in Japan: the 6 would be there, but let’s give it a 5, like the medals. The student can apply themselves better and do much, much more.
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August 1, 2021 (change August 1, 2021 | 10:27)
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