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New Dimension

by Luciano Montanari

They toasted drinking orangeade and a little bit (just a little) of sparkling wine in a pub in Berlin with all the delegation. An evening-party completely fot them: a little embarassed because of the numerous received attentions, but finally relaxed and, especially, satisfied. The compliments (a lot, from their adversaries, too) made them conscious of the importance and the value of their result and especially of their excellent performance.

These Worlds must be remembered proudly. Feeling grown-up doesn't embarass them and, once broken the ice, they aren't awkward in front of the microphone, too. Their voices are placed one upon another, all of them (also Martina Nadalini, the reserve of the team - a useful experience for the future, that helped to make group) want to have their say. It's a competition for shouting, but opinions don't differ. First of all, the consciousness for doing something great.

"We arrived sixth, an excellent result - they're Marchesi's words - Honestly we didn't expect it, our aim was coming in the final. The first day, after two apparatuses, Japan was before us and it was a kind of delusion. however, we were able to make up for the disadvantage and to pass the turn as seventh. This gave us confidence and in the final we were able to beat Spain, too..."

"It was a great satisfaction" - Laura Zacchilli intervenes. For Laura and Susanna, Worlds went on with individual final.

"We were very tired - Susanna starts again - I had problems with my sciatic nerve and one foot". "Instead, I almost fell asleep on the floor, I wasn't able to be up, I almost wept - Laura adds - "but when you enter that enormous gym, everything -pains, tiredness- passes with all that people".

In Berlin the azure trio were in competition with Japan and Spain, the adversaries they had to fight in order to realize some ambitions not even hidden. Listen to Arianna Rusca: "Really we didn't expect the Japanese team so good. I was enraptured. During their traning we went many times to see them and took note of their way of competition and skill of their gymnasts. Once, joking, we said each other: might Japan surpass us? No sooner than done. But it lasted only one day..."

Ambitions, the right one, the three azures, still very young, have some. What is necessary to reach the levbels of those teams preceding you? The girls look and question at each other: "What is necesary? We need above all... a beautiful leotard like the one of other teams. According to a young team not well known as ours, this is important as well. No doubt we need a consolidated experience at high levels because we aren't know like the already well known gymnasts. Next time it will be different because we have left a beautiful recollection in the place. In regard to technical plan we need more refined compositions as for look and routines."

By numbers we can judge our azures. the jury awarded them with extraordinary scores, even over 9.80. Very high scores, received at the beginning with surprise: "No, we didn't expect, we never got them". Now Worlds have finished and self-confidence has increased: "Once, when we were defying more appreciated adversaries, we weren't able to overheld them, now, we know that, working and undertaking, we can compete as equal with some of them, like the Spanish".

Now the problem is to remain on the top. Incentives and enthusiasm, after the excellent place in Berlin, aren't absent, Laura Zacchilli explains: "We know we have to work to gain cleverness and skill in our execution. We feel like working, going on and trying to do our best, because we realize the difficulties are coming now".

After a so excellent result, however there is enough to room to regret that something more would have done. "Sometimes - Susanna says - before entering the floor we are afraid of making a mistake, of performing an element more risky than another; so we decide to remove something useful to gain a higher score". "My grumble - Arianna intervenes - is to have mistaken".

Marina Nadalini has no regrets, even she didn't compete, and was only a spectator, when, perhaps she dreamed her first performance at the Worlds: "Even if I didn't compete, it was a very beautiful unforgettable and above all enthusiastic experience, and also endures. It was unpleasant seeing my teammates competing with the adversaries and not sharing with them their success". "She was crying - Susanna makes fun of her - when coming to hear we reached the finals!".

In spite of their nervous strain and phisical and psychologic care during the three running days, our azures are able to declar a judgement about the adversaries: "It was right and deserved Elena Vitrichenko's victory. She showed herself the best, especially for her accurate perfomance. It was a pity Tatiana Ogrizko's injury, she would been one of the protagonists in the final".

the new code caused a not insignificant care: "By now - Arianna says - we get used to it. The difficulty was in the four obligatory elements, B difficulties with different handling, that made us lose precious teaths, if we don't execute them. We had some problems at the beginning; now, after a strong work, we have overhelmed them".

They don't reveal weak points, they don't look for excuses: the consciousness of the new dimension acquired in Berlin is the best condition, technical and psychological, to be able to look trustfully to the next aim, that is the European in Porto, in May 1998.

Laura Vigna & Roberta Diglio