Bebe Vio triumphs in Pisa: gold in foil B

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Triumphant return in front of the home crowd.

The crowd’s bath of the Pisa audience celebrated Bebe Vio’s triumphant return to the piste as she won the Italian leg of the Paralympic Fencing World Cup. Five hundred and sixty-six days after the triumphant nights of the Tokyo Games, the Italian star returned to competition in her own way, winning and dominating the women’s foil category B competition. It was a special Friday in Tuscany, as Italy also celebrated the bronze medals in men’s saber A by Edoardo Giordan and Matteo Dei Rossi.

Bebe Vio’s big comeback was consummated in the round of 16 draw. Admitted directly to the direct elimination, skipping the group stage by ranking rights, the Italian made her debut by overcoming Poland’s Patrycja Hazera 15-2. In the quarterfinals, Bebe continued her march by beating Japan’s Anri Sakurai by a score of 15-5, thus mortgaging her first medal after a 19-month stop. Drawn by the warmth of the Pisa crowd, the Fiamme Oro champion also won the semifinals, imposing herself with a clear 15-3 over Saysunee Ragowska of Thailand. Thus came the pass for the very final against China’s Rong Xiao.

The packed PalaCUS tribune pushed Bebe hard, who turned on the enthusiasm more and more by posting a deadly 4-0 partial already at the start, and from there, hit after hit, she closed in triumph 15-6. Then came the flurry of hugs: with Italian CT Simone Vanni, with Paralympic National Team coordinator Dino Meglio, with federal president Paolo Azzi, with her teacher Simone Mazzoni, athletic trainer Peppe Cerqua, and the entire Italian team who cheered loudly for her.

In the shadow of the Leaning Tower, Italy also shined in the men’s saber A event where two Italians were on the podium, both on the third step. The double bronze was signed by Edoardo Giordan and Matteo Dei Rossi.

Also touching the podium were category A foilists Andreea Mogos (fifth) and Loredana Trigilia (seventh), and category B saberist Gianmarco Paolucci (fifth).

“An incredible joy, it is special to come back and win in front of the home crowd. The emotion of coming back was so much, it was great to come back to the group, with my team, and celebrate this result all together,” the words of a very happy Bebe Vio.

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