A historic Sunday for Italian rhythmic gymnastics that partly alleviates the anger for the gold ‘snatched’ yesterday at the Blue Butterflies in the All Around test and the fourth place in Sofia Raffaeli in the individual one. It is precisely the 18-year-old from Marche, in a Tel Aviv where she plays with the evocative assonances of an Israeli star like Bar Rafaeli, the first to hit the big target at the European Championships, winning two golds, at the hoop and at the clubs, conquering the silver to the ball.
Never, in the past 37 editions, the blue rhythm had reached the individual podium but the spoils grew even more when the Farfalle took home another two golds, in the five circles and with ribbons and balls. Here too it is a record, because so far on the first step of the podium they had only climbed once, in 2018 and in 2008. Raffaeli’s joy is great, an athlete of the Fiamme Oro who will not have time to rest because on his return to Italy the ‘awaits the baccalaureate in human sciences before diving back into training ahead of the World Games in July and the Sofia World Cup in September.
“I am very proud to have achieved a historic record – she underlined – and very satisfied with the race, I performed all three tools perfectly. There is still a lot to improve but it is a good goal. I dedicate the medals to my coaches , Julieta Cantaluppi and Kristina Ghiurova, to the State Police, my sports group, to the Federation that gave me this great opportunity and, of course, to the Fabriano Gymnastics where I train. I hope to do better and better – he concluded – and I hope that the road will take me to Paris 2024, my biggest dream “. The young maturanda – already bronze in the circle at the 2021 World Cup – in her first specialty final climbed to the top of the podium with 36 clear points ahead of Israeli Daria Atamanov, silver, and Bulgarian Kaleyn, bronze.
At the clubs, the gymnast from Chiaravalle collected 34,550 points, good for the first position ahead of Atamanov, silver and Slovenian Vedeneeva, bronze. Finally, in the ball, Raffeli scored her staff with 34,250 and took the silver. In front of her the Bulgarian Kaleyn and behind the German Varfolomeev. Seventh place for the other blue in the race, Baldassarri.
Then the Farfalle are back on the platform. In the first exercise, mounted on the “Mercy in darkness and Strength of Thousand Men” medley, the Italians scored 36,650 points, beating Israel and Bulgaria. In the routine with 3 ribbons and 2 balls, built on Michael Jackson’s song “They don’t care about us”, they close the 38 / o European with another gold and 34,250 points, leaving Spain and Azerbaijan behind. “We are happy with our performance in this European Championship both for the two golds and for the silvers of yesterday – said the captain, Alessia Maurelli -. It is useless to deny that we regret the second place yesterday because certainly the path that brought us closer to the Europeans. he said something else for us. Let’s not get discouraged, let’s go ahead and show who we are on the platform. We are worth what we have around our necks today “.
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