Archery Italy displays Olympic and Paralympic teams for Rio

Images courtesy Foto D'Annibale.

Italy is the only European country that has qualified a full team – three men and three women – for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Whereas at the Paralympics, the nation will also be represented in all archery events by at least one athlete, with nine para archers altogether.

The squad of 15 was presented to the media in the presence of Mr Giovanni Malagò, President of Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), and Mr Luca Pancalli, President of the Italian Paralympic Committee (CIP).

The event was live streamed on YouArco, the YouTube Channel of the Italian Archery Federation (FITARCO).

Lights were on Marco Galiazzo, now at his fourth Olympic cap, who has never come back empty-handed from previous editions – individual gold at Athens 2004, team silver at Beijing 2008 and team gold at London 2012.

In Rio 2016, Galiazzo will be joined by Mauro Nespoli, also present in Beijing and London. The new face is David Pasqualucci, who recently joined the Italian Air Force as his teammates. Veteran Michele Frangilli will be the alternate.

The Italian women’s team will feature a brand new team: In the role of alternate in 2012 for London, Guendalina Sartori will make her Olympic debut in Rio, as will Claudia Mandia and Lucilla Boari.

In the last five editions of the Games – since Atlanta 1996 – Italy has always won an Olympic medal. And 2016 is also the fifth time Italy has managed to qualify both men’s and women’s teams – Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 – the only European nation to do so for this year. Among other countries also sending six archers to Rio are Korea, China, Chinese Taipei and Brazil.

The Italian men won their team quota last year with Frangilli, Nespoli and Pasqualucci finishing second place at the World Archery Championships in Copenhagen.

Guendalina Sartori got the first women’s quota place in that same event. The last two were clinched last June at the final world qualification tournament, when the Italian ladies beat Chinese Taipei in a breathtaking shoot-off, with Lucilla Boari’s arrow closer to the centre by just one centimetre.

Italy Rio 2016 Paralympic squad

  • Marco Galiazzo
  • Mauro Nespoli
  • David Pasqualucci
  • Guendalina Sartori
  • Claudia Mandia
  • Lucilla Boari

The nation has also qualified at least one athlete in each archery event held at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, nine para archers making the team. Among them Beijing 2008 silver medallist Alberto Simonelli in compound men, and World Champion and world record holder Eleonora Sarti in the women’s division.

Few countries in the world may boast as many results in para archery events as Italy does. In the last seven editions of the Games, Italian archers have always achieved at least a place on the Paralympic podium. In London 2012, Oscar De Pellegrin won the recurve men’s gold medal and Elisabetta Mijno recurve women’s silver.

Italy Rio 2016 Paralympic squad

  • Roberto Airoldi (Recurve Men Open)
  • Alessandro Erario (Recurve Men Open)
  • Elisabetta Mijno (Recurve Women Open)
  • Alberto Simonelli (Compound Men)
  • Gianpaolo Cancelli (Compound Men)
  • Matteo Bonacina (Compound Men)
  • Eleonora Sarti (Compound Open)
  • Fabio Azzolini (Men W1)
  • Monica Borelli (Women W1 – awaiting new para archery classification)

The archery competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will run in the Sambodromo from 5 till 12 August, followed one month later by the Paralympic archery events from 10 to 17 September.

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