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Taormina exalts fencing. Entertainment, sport competition and a lot of excitement

Taeo1Pure entertainment, full of excitement. Magic feelings and a real sport competition. The ancient theatre of Taormina welcomed with all its charm the fencing event featuring Italy against the Rest of the world, in the two specialities of female foil and the male épée.  The event was organised as part of the initiatives to support Expo 2015, under the auspices of the Prime Minister's Office and of CONI. The project, "SPORT @ EXPO2015 - Nutrition and sport teamwork", created in collaboration with ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities), already brought water polo to Capri and female volleyball to Florence.


Taormina and its ancient theatre have created a real show in parallel with the fencing tournament.  Dancers of the Company of Araund Mnais opened the evening, while "Molecole volanti" (flying molecules) performed aerial dances and the Joculares group did a fire performance.


It was then the time of the female foil dream team. Valentina Vezzali, Arianna Errigo, Elisa Di Francisca and Martina Batini put themselves to the test with a real match against the champions of the rest of the world, led by the German Carolin Golubytskyi, the French Ysaora Thibus, the American Nzingha Prescod and the Tunisian Ines Boubakri. All amongst the finest fencers.

Indeed, it was not easy for the Italian team to win. After a good start, when Vezzali and her companions managed to lead by as much as 17 points (30-13), the patient work of the American Prescod and French Thibus slowly eroded all the advantage away from both Errigo and Di Francisca. The final was breathtaking, with the score getting to 47 on both sides, but the last winning thrust came from Arianna Errigo.

Equally balanced also the male épée.match.  Enrico Garozzo, Marco Fichera, Andrea Santarelli and Gabriele Cimini started falling behind against the Venezuelan Ruben Limardo, the Hungarian Geza Imre, the Spanish Josè Luis Abajo e the Senegalese Alexandre Bouzaid.


But the Italian team managed to react and get on the lead, if only by a small amount, during the second part of the match, closing first with Garozzo 45 to 42 against the world champion Imre, and then, in the last match, Marco Fichera against Abajo managed to bring victory to the Italian team with an analogous 48-47. In truth, it was sport that won.


After the tournament, grand finale with different groups performing on stage. There is still time to pay tribute to the fencer that won the most Olympic medals of all times: Edoardo Mangiarotti. The 13 times in which he stood on the Olympic podium were celebrated by the CONI Deputy President and President of the Italian Fencing Federation, Giorgio Scarso, and by the President of CONI Sicily regional Committee, Sergio D'Antoni, with a plate for the two athletes that totalled the highest number of thrusts in the two competitions.  Valentina Vezzali won the award for female foil and the Spanish Josè Luis Abajo the award for male épée.  The awards were handed over by the daughter of the unforgotten "King of the épée", Carola Mangiarotti.

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