Italy absolute protagonist in Nagoya. Victories, podiums and Olympic passes ever closer – OA Sport

Italy absolute protagonist in Nagoya. Victories, podiums and Olympic passes ever closer – OA Sport
Italy absolute protagonist in Nagoya. Victories, podiums and Olympic passes ever closer – OA Sport

The goal was to confirm itself, but Italy went further and did even better than Beijing. In the second round of the World Cup in Nagoya the blue team is the absolute protagonist on the Japanese ice, collecting two victories and as many podiums and getting closer and closer to the Olympic qualification with all the relays.

Arianna Fontana monopolizes the attention with an absolute queen Saturday. It starts with the second place in the 1500 meters and ends with the extraordinary victory in the 500 meters. This is the twelfth career success in the World Cup for Arianna, who had not climbed the top step of the podium for six years, when in 2015 she won the 1000 in Turkey in Erzurum. A victory that reached 31 years and 199 days, with Fontana becoming the oldest woman ever to win an individual World Cup race. Yet another demonstration of an ageless champion.

To anticipate Fontana’s success in the 500 meters, there was the incredible victory of Yuri Confortola in the 1500 meters at the end of a crazy race and which saw him flee just after the start. An unscrupulous tactic, but that paid off that of the veteran of the blue team, who decided to attack shortly after the start, almost immediately gaining a lap of advantage. Confortola also breaks a taboo for the men’s team, because his first career victory in the World Cup brings Italy back to the top step of the podium in an individual race since the distant 2007 (Nicola Rodigari in Heerenveen).

The fourth podium of this stage of the World Cup comes from the women’s relay, which wins a precious third place. A placement that brings the Italians ever closer to the Olympic qualification, but this is absolutely true also for the men’s relay (fourth) and the mixed relay (fifth). In the third round of the season in Debrecen, in two weeks, there could be the mathematical confirmation of the Olympic pass for an Italy that continues to improve race after race and that has started the Olympic journey in the best way.

Photo: LaPresse

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