At the European Championships in Heerenveen, the Azzurri climbed to the podium twice: first the trio made up of Giovannini, Ghiotto and Malfatti, then the 29-year-old Roman from the Air Force
The first day of the European Championships on the long track (for the third time dedicated to individual distances), less than a month before the start of the Beijing Olympics, gives two bronzes to Italy coached by Maurizio Marchetto. In Heerenveen, the Dutch mecca of the discipline, the third place of the men’s team pursuit arrives, with the trio composed of Andrea Giovannini, Davide Ghiotto and Michele Malfatti and that of Francesca Lollobrigida in the 3000. It is true that the absences, by choice or by problems related to Covid, are numerous (no Russian, pending the outcome of new tampons, took part in the inaugural races). But the Italian results, seen in perspective, bode well.
The men’s team climbs to the podium of the event for the first time. Giovannini, Ghiotto and Malfatti, in the second of three series, challenge the Norwegian trio made up of Dahl Johansson, Hallgeir Engebraten and Sverre Lunde Pedersen. They command until halfway through the race. Then they gradually decrease. They finish in 3’43 “416, with rivals flying away up to a 3’38” 920. But, in closing, it’s up to the host of Holland: Patrick Roest, Marcel Bosker and the infinite Sven Kramer finish, triumphing, in 3’37 ”975. The Azzurri, at the Games, will play as outsiders.
Francesca Lollobrigida confirms the excellent things of this season. The 29-year-old Roman from the Air Force, already silver in the Mass Start at Kolomna 2018 and Heerenveen 2o20, reaffirms the result of two years ago in the 3000. Even with a few small regrets. His first part of the race, in fact, is far too generous. Up to 1800 meters she even takes the luxury of standing in front of the Dutch Irene Schouten, a dominatrix, coupled with her. Then, inevitably, it gives way. Schouten scores 3’56 “623, Lollo a convincing 4’00” 615. In the middle, skating in the following series, with 3’59 ”796, another is inserted orange, Antoinette De Jong, who therefore precedes the blue by 82/100 of a second. The podium is saved for 1 “25: the Norwegian Ragne Wiklund is fourth with 4’01” 868. The chances of a medal for Lollobrigida are certainly not over: Saturday is expected by the 1500s, Sunday by “its” Mass Start.
January 7, 2022 (change January 7, 2022 | 21:05)
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