Bebe Vio and nine others, Italy at Paralympic Games in double digits

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Bebe Vio in Paris

Italian Paralympic fencing in Paris 2024 will not count on Bebe Vio alone: she will be represented in all competitions, both Individual and Team. At the’outcome of the long Qualification phase, which unraveled between the World Cup, European and World Championships of the last two seasons, Italy has obtained the number of 10 participants – and è a record for the new millennium – at the kermesse scheduled from September 3 to 7 on the Grand Palais platforms, who will join the 24 who a month earlier will compete in the Olympics.

An extraordinary result for Italian fencing, which has qualified all its four Paralympic Teams in as many Team Events (foil and epee both men’s and women’s, saber on the other hand is not in the Team competition program) and as many as 9 athletes for the Individual competitions, which become 10 by virtù of a Wild Card.

They obtained individual passes for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games: Bebe Vio in foil, Rossana Pasquino in epee and saber, and Andreea Mogos in women’s foil and saber; among the men, however, Matteo Betti qualified in foil, Matteo Dei Rossi in epee and saber, Edoardo Giordan in saber, Emanuele Lambertini in foil and epee, Michele Massa in foil and epee, and Gianmarco Paolucci in saber and epee. To the 9 admitted for their respective positions in the International Ranking, we add “the captain” Loredana Trigilia, listed as a Wild Card attributed to’Italy.

Thus is outlined the expedition of 10 athletes, a historic number since Paralympic activity has taken place under the auspices of the FIS (since 2011) and second only to the 11 participants of Atlanta 1996. Three are the debutants: Dei Rossi, Paolucci and Massa will breathe the magic of a Paralympic Games for the first time in their careers. The youngest of the entire Italian fencing team, both Olympic and Paralympic, will be the 20-year-old Massa from Marche, while the veteran è Loredana Trigilia from Rome, class of 1976, who will be competing in Paris for the seventh time.

A splendid mix of experience and youth; the one built by the staff led by the Coordinator of the Paralympic sector of the Italian Fencing Federation, Dino Meglio, and the technical commissioners Simone Vanni for foil, Francesco Martinelli for epee and Marco Ciari for saber.

Thus, the Italian fencing delegation to the Paris 2024 Games will be composed of 34 athletes: 24 at the Olympics and 10 at the Paralympics, with Italy represented in all competitions, both Individual and Team, of the double event.

A result that makes Federal President Paolo Azzi proud: “One great team from 34 athletes in Paris, an extraordinary participation. A special applause for our Paralympic sector: qualifying all the teams and having 10 athletes competing, something that had never happened since the Federation has been managing the activity of wheelchair fencing, nothing but the mirror of an excellent work for which credit must be given to the Coordinator, the CTs, the boys and their teachers and training companies. The Paralympic sector of the FIS è has grown exponentially and the result of the Qualification for Paris expresses an overall development that has brought wheelchair fencing to so many Italian halls, in a scenario of perfect integration that has also greatly benefited the Olympic movement. We are one big sports family marching toward a dream. Now we get into the thick of preparation to arrive competitive and ambitious at the Grand Palais” competitions.

Thusì master Dino Meglio, an Olympian who heads the Paralympic sector: “In November 2021, when I took office as Coordinator flanking the extraordinary working group already formed by the three Weapons Managers, arriving in double figures in Paris was a goal but also a great dream. We crowned it with daily and incessant teamwork of enormous quality, rejuvenating the group and enhancing the potential of our most experienced top athletes as evidenced by the rich World Championships in Terni that closed with 12 medals. I am particularly proud of the result achieved but the 10 qualified for the Paralympic Games do not represent an achievement, but rather a starting point because we want to be protagonists on the French platforms”.

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