“They win today but tomorrow we lose” was the title of the current article in today’s bulletin, which referred to the excellent performances of the youngest participants in these Championships. And on the top step of the podium were actually just four under 25. In the Open series the triumph was for Giovanni Donati and Giacomo Percario, respectively 21 and 24 years old. In the Women series, the sisters Federica and Valentina Dalpozzo, 15 and 17 years old, won the first place on the podium. And so, in reality, we can say that today we have all won, won the Italian Bridge, won our future.
Look at Giovanni and Giacomo in this photo that dates back to 2010, when, very small and with an angelic air, they went over the arrangements on the system with the Azzurra shirt. A t-shirt then too wide for them, a uniform that they have never taken off, having continued to represent Italy over the years (both in the National Youth Team and Donati also in the Open), although, at the pairs level, their destinies have split.
And with a fancy chronological flight, we arrive in December of last year, when the two discover they were both free for the Open Pairs Championship (Giacomo’s historical companion in this competition is his mentor Dario Attanasio, with whom he also won the title in 2017 and the bronze in 2018). Months go by, the appointment remained confirmed, but obviously between colleges and Bridge commitments around Italy and the world the time to agree was very little.
Thus, Giacomo and Giovanni find themselves defining the system a few days ago, but it is not a problem for two that for a decade now have grown on Bridge. They qualifed for the semi-final A, they win the semi-final group and arrived to the A final.
Last night they were first, with a good 3,50 percentage point advantage: practically they already had one foot on the top step of the podium. Well, actually they managed to make their fans suffer (and they were many: we received calls from different parts of Italy and even from abroad asking for confirmation of the results), because that distance over the second pair, Fulvio Fantoni and Roberto Lanciano , during this morning’s session was really close. In the end, the boys crossed the finish line with 60.25%. For a minimal 0.02%, Fantoni thus duplicated last year’s silver. The bronze medal was won by the Paolo Clair and Maurizio Palmieri from Padua.
And now we come to the Women series. One thing is certain: when the winners were announced, there was not a single person in the entire Congress Palace that was not clear on who they were. This is because our champions had already reached the headlines of the bulletin of the day, which included an interview with Valentina. The article focused on his world title in the Individual women category under 26, won in August in Opatija, Croatia.
The sisters, who like Donati and Percario play in the National Youth teams, form a steady and certainly not new couple on the podium of Salso; for example, in 2018 they had won the silver medal in this same competition. Curiously, in the qualifications, the Dalpozzo were fourth, just like Donati and Percario in the Open series. With the fifth place in the Semifinal A, they won a pass for the Cariatidi room, under whose “sky” the Final was held (the wonderfully frescoed ceiling depicts the celestial vault – whoever had never come to Salso must definitely put in the program a visit to the Palazzo dei Congressi and combine the taste of playing a Championship with a visit to what is probably the most beautiful venue in the whole world of the Bridge).
Second in the standings last night, Fede and Vale did their duty (ie keep the maximum concentration and record again a very good average) in today’s session and destiny has thought of the rest, in terms of results for the opponents. The silver medal was won by Francesca Carnicelli Failla and Ornella Ligambi Colonna. On the third step of the podium were Fabiola Cima and Tiziana Di Martino, first in the standings last night and bronze medal, at the beginning of the year, in the Corporate Team in pairs, and silver in the Pairs Championships in 2016.
At the awards ceremony, as already mentioned for the Italian Cup Over 61, the federal leaders intervened, including obviously the FIGB President Francesco Ferlazzo Natoli, but also the planetary bridge leader Gianarrigo Rona, President of the World Bridge Federation (WBF, World Bridge Federation).
After the award ceremony, the now classic end-of-competition party was held: the “third time”, based on green lasagna really delicious.
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