Like every year, the Serie A series started and we had the opportunity to have a look at the national team’s gymnasts for the first time. We got to see many promising young gymnasts, while many veterans are still nursing some injuries, like Erika Fasana and Martina Rizzelli, who both didn’t really heal after Rio, Vanessa Ferrari, who’s recovering from the Achilles injury, Martina Maggio, who should have been back after the knee injury she sustained before Worlds, but had to sit the competition after a small setback, and Sydney Saturnino, who’s having problems with her foot. Another bad news came from the unlucky Enus Mariani, who needs a back surgery and will probably be out for the rest of the year. On a brighter note, Carlotta Ferlito resumed training and competed on beam.
The Juniors were the highlight of the competition, with good difficulty and some upgrades:
Giorgia Villa competed the AA for the first time since Jesolo 2017 and won. She vaulted a slightly messy DTY (14.55), a very original bar routine despite some legs separations on the front giants (Ricna+Pak+Maloney+ stalder ½+ Ezhova, Chow+bail, toe-on 1/2, elgrip 1/1, full-in, 5.9- 14.20). Floor was downgraded but well done (full-in, front double twist, double tuck, double pike, 5.0-13.30) and beam was her weakest event with wobbles here and there (split mount, switch split to switch half, L turn+full turn, roundoff+back tuck, double turn, sisonne+aerial cartwheel, double twist dismount, 5.2-12.30).
Asia D’Amato was the second best gymnast of the day with a stuck DTY (14.85) and very clean beam routine (switch split mount, split+front aerial, bhs+loso, side somi, Y turn, switch half, double pike dismount, 4.7-12.15). Bars had some form issues and legs separations (Ricna, Tkachev+Pak, Maloney+ bail, elgrip 1/1 to double front, 5.5-13.85) while floor was well done despite the lack of interpretation and choreography (Memmel, double Arabian, full in, double tuck, double twist, 5.0-13.30).
Alice D’Amato upgraded bars adding a van Leeuwen, but fell on an “easy” elgrip full turn (Maloney+Tkachev, Ricna, Pak, Vanleeuwen, elgrip1/1, double front, 5.7-13.45). She also vaulted a clean DTY (14.75) and hit beam even if she had a big side step landing her triple twist dismount (split mount, front aerial, bhs+back tuck, switch split+switch side, aerial cartwheel, triple twist dismount, 5.2-12.30).
Elisa Iorio had a rough day, counting two falls on beam and another one on her best event, bars. She vaulted an easy FTY (13.75), went for a very ambitious routine on bars adding a van Leeuwen, but fell on it (5.7 – 13.00). On floor, she lacked expression and looked robotic (full-in, Memmel, double tuck, double pike, front full, 5.1-12.90).
Alessia Federici, a 2004 born gymnast, debuted the FTY on vault (13.20), performed a nice bar routine (inbar,inbar 1/2+ piked Jaeger, Pak, stalder, stalder 1/1 double pike, 5.0-13.30). On beam, which used to be her best event, Alessia struggled a bit and most of the skills were downgraded (bhs+loso, switch split+split ring, aerial cartwheel, switch ring, bhs+bhs+douvle twist dismount, 4.2-11.10). On floor she performed a nice and fun routine where her biggest visible mistake were low chest on the final pass and a foot oob (2 ½ twist +fron tuck, double pike, back 1 ½ twist+ front twist, double tuck, 4.9-12.70)
The Seniors didn’t have very strong performances:
Desireè Carofiglio, one of the most inconsistent gymnasts, was the first in the AA among the seniors. She vaulted a nice Yurchenko 1 ½ (14.00), was quite clean on bars aside a huge leg separation on her Pak (Ricna+ Pak, stalder 1/1+Maloney, bail, stalder+toe-on, double front, 5.5- 13.65). She also hit a great floor routine where she stuck her first two passes, too bad her jumps and leaps don’t match her passes (front layout+double front, Dowell, double tuck, front layout+front 1/1 twist, 5.0-13.40). Beam, her worst event, was a struggle, but she didn’t fall.
Lara Mori started the competition with a fall on the Ricna on bars (5.1-11.90) but redeemed herself on beam with a strong routine (bhs mount, bhs+loso+loso, side somi, side split, swicth half+split leap+wolf jump, aerial cartwheel, switch ring, triple twist dismount, 5.8-13.20). She debuted a new floor with Ksenia Afanasyeva’s 2012 music, which didn’t have her highest difficulty since she didn’t perform the double layout (full-in, Memmel+illusion, 2 ½ twist to front layout, triple twist, double pike, 5.4-13.75).
Elisa Meneghini went for the Rio routines. On vault she performed a Yurchenko 1 ½, clean but landed outside the line (13.75) and was fairly clean on bars, her weakest event (4.9 – 13.00). On beam, she went for the layout full and hit despite a huge wobble (switch split mount, round off+layout 1/1, side somi, switch side, front aerial+split jump+bhs, switch split+straddle jump+bhs, aerial cartwheel, stuck double pike dismount, 5.7-12.90). On floor she performed her most difficult routine, but fell on the double Arabian (double layout, double Arabian, full-in, double pike, 5.2 – 12.15). Despite the mistakes, Elisa looks ready to finally be a serious contender. She has the skills, she just needs to show in competition the upgrades she’s working on, and also she really needs to learn more difficult leaps and jumps, especially on floor, where her D score is quite low considering her passes.
Giada Grisetti again wasn’t clean and had some major mistakes. She hit the Yurchenko full (13.65) but fell on bars on the easiest skill, the stalder shoot (inbar 1/1+ Maloney, bail, Tkachev, inbar ½+Endo+ double front, 5.7- 13.05). Beam was pretty solid for her standards (5.3 – 12.45), while on floor she had rough landings (triple twist, double tuck, front 1/1 twist,double pike, 5.0-12.20).
New senior Martina Basile had a rough day too, but I’m pretty sure she’s not 100% healthy and that she recently came back from an injury. She vaulted a FTY and not her usual Yurchenko 1 ½ (13.60), went for a very easy but clean routine on bars (Tkachev, bail, toe-on+toe-on 1/1, stalder, double pike dismount, 4.4- 12.55) fell on beam on the bhs mount (bhs+bhs+layout, switch split+split leap+split jump, front aerial, aerial cartwheel, switch side, double pike dismount, 5.3-11.45) and performed a downgraded floor (4.8-12.75).
Carlotta Ferlito, who took a pause from gymnastics to join a tv programme named “dance dance dance”, started training again a month ago, and since her club was having a rough time with injuries, she decided to take part in this competition on beam to help them. Carlotta performed an easy routine for her, but solid and with a lot of potential for the next months (front aerial+split ring jump, bhs+loso, switch split+straddle jump, split ring leap, split leap+aerial cartwheel, switch ring, double twist dismount, 5.1-12.65).
What’s going well:
- The juniors are solid, they’re upgrading and they look ready to be among the best gymnasts of their age.
- Lara Mori and Elisa Meneghini look great, both have most of their best skills back and they can improve on difficulty and consistency. Carlotta Ferlito will probably follow them.
What’s not going too well:
- Aside from a few veterans, the senior team is quite weak. New seniors like Basile, Grisetti, Cereghetti and Carofiglio have low difficulty and lack consistency, they don’t look ready to compete on big stages.
- Beam is becoming a big problem for whole team Italy. Their best apparatus on the past, now looks like a liability. We expect more original work, more difficulty, but we now have many shaky and less than inspired routine compositions. At this meet, you could have won the hypothetical bronze medal on beam with a 12.65. Even the fabulous 2003 girls (Villa, Iorio, D’Amato) need to dedicate more attention to this event; otherwise, with the strict judging we saw at Worlds on this apparatus, this event is going to become a huge problem.
Article: Giuly Holzer
Picture by: Myriam Cawston