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Tokyo and Milan united in the sign of Sport


Tokyo – ‘We wanted to unite our two countries in the name of sport, linking Tokyo and Milan, sporting cities par excellence. After Tokyo, which has turned the spotlight on Japan with the Olympics, it will be Milan that will draw the attention of the world of sport to Italy, hosting the 2023 World Fencing Championships and then the Winter Olympics in 2026. But these two cities also share so much more, being two world capitals of fashion, design, industry, and technology, and will increasingly be the driving force to accelerate the development of bilateral relations between our two countries, especially with regard to industrial and technological collaborations’. With these words the Ambassador of Italy to Japan, Gianluigi Benedetti, opened the event ‘The Beauty of Made in Italy in a Gesture. From Tokyo to Milan in the sign of Sport”, hosted at the Italian Embassy on the eve of the start of the Men’s Foil Foil World Cup in the Japanese capital.

“I am very pleased to open this event dedicated to fencing, which has a very important sporting and image value for Italy, as it is the discipline that has achieved more success than any other in recent decades,” said Ambassador Benedetti greeting the Italian delegation. In the presence of the Director General of the Japanese Sports Agency, Yoshitaka Hoshino, the reigning world champion Italian national team was represented by foil fencer Tommaso Marini, winner of the last edition of the Specialty World Cup, and by Technical Commissioner Stefano Cerioni, who took a long time to answer the many questions posed by the audience present. In a much appreciated speech, Tommy Marini said that the beauty in sport ‘lies in the fact that every defeat leaves you something and always gives you new lessons for life, strengthening you and preparing you to build new victories’. CT Cerioni insisted on these important concepts, explaining how fencing “teaches you to fight and grow also in life, because on the piste you are alone and you have to win your challenges based on your own strengths, but it is fundamental to get there after having prepared yourself in the best possible way in a healthy group, because that is where you build your personality and your results”.

“Beauty in a Gesture” in Japan’s capital city was a high-impact event, in which the link between Tokyo and Milan in view of the 2023 Absolute World Championships was extolled. Marco Fichera, President of the Organising Committee of the next rainbow kermesse, emphasised in his speech: ‘It is meanwhile a great pleasure to be back in Tokyo as an executive, after having been here a year and a half ago as an athlete for the Olympic Games, an edition postponed to 2021 and for which we must thank all the Japanese people who allowed the Olympics to take place despite the delicate moment for the international health situation. We are in Tokyo to affirm through sport the bond between two great countries and to reaffirm that the 2023 World Championships is an important commitment for Italy and has the ambition of being not only a great appointment for fencing, but an all-round event, which will take our sport far beyond the piste and the competition venue. The presence here of so many companies is precisely the testimony of the great attention paid to sport for the meanings that the very project “Beauty in a Gesture” affirms and recounts around the world”.

In fact, during the panel moderated by the Secretary General of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo (ICCJ), Davide Fantoni, companies, organisations and institutions of the Italian System in Tokyo and representatives of culture and sport in Japan were involved, thanks above all to the collaboration of the Japanese Fencing Federation. An event that perfectly embodied the spirit of the programme ‘Beauty in a Gesture’, born from the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), CONI and the Italian Fencing Federation, to support the promotion of Italy’s image in the world precisely through the discipline of the three weapons, for sporting results, values transmitted and affirmed, but also for the importance that the highest international events can represent.

“The World Championships in Milan at the centre of the Tokyo event represents a great honour for us and a very important moment along the path that will lead us to the July 2023 kermesse – said the President of the Italian Fencing Federation, Paolo Azzi, in a message sent to the Italian Embassy in Japan -. My gratitude and the gratitude of all Italian fencing goes to Ambassador Gianluigi Benedetti and the entire organisation that made such a prestigious and significant appointment possible”.