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FIS President Azzi “We want to enhance young people, Milan 2023 great challenge”

ROME (ITALPRESS) – DEC 20, 2021 – “From 2022 I clearly expect victories, important results because we have great athletes. At the same time, however, I expect a season of experiments and tests, because it is the only year ‘freed’ from Olympic qualification: we can test and put some young people, some new recruits, to the test in view of Paris.”

At the end of a year “complicated by Covid,” Italian Fencing Federation President Paolo Azzi looks ahead with confidence. The Tokyo Olympics gave FIS five medals, “one more than Rio 2016, a definitely positive haul,” the FIS number one recalled in an interview with Italpress. “We missed the gold, we were sorry about that and it tarnished our results a bit. In some cases there were also naive appreciations, but we immediately restarted. The World Cup season started positively, a win by Alice Volpi and more podiums. In 2022 I expect more successes but we also want to enhance our young people.”

After the Japanese Olympics, the new task has been entrusted to three new weapon responsibilities: Stefano Cerioni for foil, Luigi Tarantino for saber, and Dario Chiadò for epee. “From them I expect us to resume the path interrupted by Covid,” Azzi explained, “We already had young people who under normal conditions could have played for a place on the team in Tokyo but were unable to do so, now we have to put them back in the game and in competition with the senators. Our top athletes are not particularly beyond their years, but we need to create an atmosphere of positive competition from which the call-ups for Paris 2024 will then have to come out.”

At the political level, however, Azzi will make Italy’s voice heard as a member of the international federation’s executive committee. “Our presence in the Fie is important,” stressed the FIS president, “I will try to give my contribution to maintain the high consideration that our fencing has in the world by cultivating President Scarso’s policy of collaboration and relationship with many countries, including emerging ones. And then we have the challenge of the Milan 2023 World Championships, a difficult commitment, but we are keen to make a good impression once again.”