Italy Update: Serie A and Worlds Team Selection

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Serie A 2017 Eboli

Later than usually the Serie A came to an end on saturnday in Eboli. It was a very important meet, not much for the results itself, but to have a last look on the gymnasts who could have made a case for themself for Montreal.

The Seniors

Starting with the gymnasts on the nominative list, Lara Mori had an usual meet for her. She did a fine FTY ( 13.50) and was a little shaky on bars (12.95) and beam (13.05). On floor, the event where she has a small chance of a World final, she stumbled on a piked down double layout, hit the Memmel+illusion, the 2 ½ twist to front layout and the full-in, did a big step and wet oob after the triple twist ( 5.6 13.40).

Sara Berardinelli, who actually competed in the Serie B, had a very disappointed meet. Sara fell on both bars (11.40) and beam (12.55), while vault and floor were not spectacular either (13.40/12.50).

Desireè Carofiglio’s performance wasn’t great . Desy had a bad fall on bars (12.60), was very shaky on beam (12.90), and went oob with both feet on floor (12.90), while she hit the yurchenko 1 ½  (14.05).

The last gymnasts set to go to Montreal, Noemi Linari, had a big meltdown. Her Yurchenko 1 ½ had form issues and she also put a foot over the line (13.65), then she fell on both beam (10.80) and floor (11.75).

The big surprise was the return to competition of Vanessa Ferrari after Rio. Vanessa has had a couple of surgeries after the Olympics, and then she decided to give a shot to Tokyo as a beam and floor specialist. She was supposed to came back in 2018 after a long recovery, but later she decided to start training again at the start of 2017. In mid August she had to stop her training due a strong pain on her tendon, but after the lackluster performance of the seniors at the Italian championships, she and her coach Enrico Casella decided she could have a shot at Montreal” to save the team from a disappointing performance”. On beam she performed a shaky routine with many form issues, a bad switch half and a double piked dismount with legs apart and bent, as well as a big step on the landing (5.8 13.30). Despite good acrobatic lines, her floor didn’t look to ready either for her standards. She performed a new routine to “O fortuna” by Carmina Burana and went for a clean double layout, a well done new whip+full-in, Memmel, double L turn (didn’t look creditable), 1 ½ twist + front layout, Gogean, switch ring+ Ferrari, double tuck with a big stumble on the landing (5.3 13.30). The choreography is non exsistent, the only reason being she still hasn’t got strong endurance after the stop.

Elisa Meneghini redeemed herself after the bad performance at the Italian Championships. She hit a strong routine on beam (a bad switch split mount, roundoff+layout full with a medium wobble, side somi, Johnson, front aerial+split jump+bhs, switch split+straddle jump+korbut, aerial cartwheel, almost stuck double piked dismount) which has a very good 5.9 D score (13.95). On floor she used her Rio routine but downgraded (double layout with a big step, almost stuck full-in, split leap 1/1, front layout+ front 1/1, ring leap, switch ring+johnson, double piked, 5.0 13.05). On vault she went for a messy Yurchenko 1 ½ , 13.45) while on bars she had some minor issues (4.8 12.90).

Giada Grisetti perfomed an FTY on vault after falling repeatedly on the DTY (13.40), had not the best execution on beam (12.90) and floor (12.55) but finally hit bars, her best event (5.5 13.80).** **

** **

The Juniors

Elisa Iorio won the virtual AA. She had landing problems as always on the DTY (13.95), hit bars without the dimount combination (14.15), had small form issues on beam (12.95) and floor (12.90).

Asia D’Amato had the best DTY of the group, high an stuck (14.70), a nice bars routine with just a small hop on the double front dismount (13.55) and a floor with good landings (13.05).

Alice D’Amato’s DTY was slightly worse than her sister’s (14.45), but she hit a better routine on bars (13.90). She had a meltdown on beam, with a fall on many wobbles (11.80).

Giorgia Villa upgraded her bars set, revealing an exciting Tkachev+pak+chow+ straddle half+ Ezhova combination (5.7 14.15). She’s still recovering, so she’s not ready on the other events, but this upgrade gives us hope for her future.

Sydney Saturnino hit a very nice beam with her original switch split+ Kochetkova+ split jump combination, and improvised a Johnson after failing the switch half (13.35).


Final considerations

After the competition National Team Coordinator Enrico Casella said that the only name who will probably be changed from the nominative roaster is Noemi Linari’s, who will be switched with Vanessa if she feels ready to compete. Casella made clear that this competition wasn’t a test for Montreal and that the gymnasts who weren’t ready at the Italian Championships (Ferlito, Meneghini) were already out of contention. The test was ony for Vanessa since she couldn’t compete at Nationals, and she has a strong chance to be at Worlds.

About Meneghini, who clearly had a very good performance, IMO worthy of a spot, he said he’s happy she reacted well after the disappointing performance, but that she is “too late for the party” and that she should have been ready when he wanted, not now. Casella also add that he will probably send her to the Massilia Cup later. He also said he knows the team won’t be competitive at Worlds.

Those decisions he made make me feel really doubtfull of him honestly. He’s sending a team which is clearly not made of the best possible gymnasts, and I don’t get why. It seems he prefers to punish the gymnasts who didn’t follows his directives rather than sending the best team, and it doesn’t make sense. He didn’t give a chance to Ferlito to compete again to reedem herself, he’s leaving out Meneghini who has a remote shot of a beam final to keep Berardinelli, a B gymnast who won’t be a factor in the next years, and Carofiglio, a good gymnasts who has a hit rate of 2%. In the past years he was all about good D scores and taking risks, today he’s sending to Montreal gymnasts who have some D scores on the high 4. Is punishing good gymnasts who didn’t follow his deadline (which honestly didn’t really make sense, they should be ready by Worlds, not 2 months earlier) smart? I don’t think so.

Also Casella is pushing Ferrari too much, who clearly is not ready, potentially risking another injury which can be a career ending for her. With those routines she won’t be in contention for a medal, so what’s the point on forcing her?

It’s not going to be a good end of the year for Italian gymnastics, but I hope at least that this method won’t be the new trend of Casella, because it could be really dangerous.



**Update: **

2017 Team announced:

Sara Berardinelli

Lara Mori

Desiree Carofiglio

Vanessa Ferrari


Article: Giuly Holzer

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