2 days of selections officially opened the agonistic season in Italy: the 3rd level river Sesia, in the alpine valley Valsesia hosted the first stage of the National Rafting Championship 2021.
2 of the 5 disciplines that will select the athletes for the World Championship in France took place on 8th and 9th May.
Sesia gorges, Piedmont region, North Italy
The first day saw 14 gates for 2 challenging manches of Slalom: Pietro Fratton, Zeno Martini, Fabio Martini And Lorenzo Mastella of Rafting Team Verona won in the men category with 142.64 seconds, with only 3.65 seconds ahead of Sesia Rafting Team with Dario Morandi, Michele Pattoglio, Francesco Regina and Giordi Sarteur. Third place for the athletes of Tigerle - ASV Sterzing from Vipiteno with 158.55 seconds: Damiano Casazza, Robert Schifferle, Martin Unterthurner and Michael Zanella.
Rafting Team Verona
Downriver confirmed the men podium, with a close battle between the first three teams that concluded in the same position: gold for Rafting Team Verona with 24’32.30, silver for Sesia Rafting with 24’34.41 and bronze for Tigerle - ASV Sterzing with 24’43.13.
Also in the women category the steps of the two podiums saw the same teams in the same positions: Letizia Lauri, Elodie Lumignon, Gaia Mascarello and Carlotta Scalvino, Rafting Aventure Villeneuve, won the Slalom with 175.50 seconds. With 30 cents further back Martina Bonomi, Christa Gruber, Francesca Leonardi and Miriam Waldboth got the second place for Sesia Rafting-DRD4. Third place for Sara Amonini, Francesca Fontanive, Silvia Venturini and Valentina Volo, Adda Viva Indomita Valtellina River with 188.79 seconds.
Rafting Aventure Villeneuve
Downriver gave another gold to Rafting Aventure Villeneuve who stopped the chronometer at 27’03.59, followed with almost a minute of advantage by Sesia Rafting-DRD4 with 28’00.56. Another bronze for Adda Viva Indomita Valtellina River with 28’57.82.
2 Para-Rafting teams, with athletes who already participated at the World Para-Rafting Championship in Kiev 2019, paddled in the same disciplines: gold for M&N Movimento e Natura - Asd Pescantina and silver for M&N Movimento e Natura - Adda Viva.
Now all the athletes keep their eyes on the next weekend of selection (5th and 6th June) on Avisio river that, with 3 other competitions on different disciplines, will confirm or overturn the National spots for France, 2 teams per category: men, women, para and mix. 1 month and 16 days to go!