Doha World Championships, silver blue quartet: Gabbrielleschi, Bridi, Paltrinieri and Acerenza


By John

Silver medal for Italy in the cross-country skiing World Championships in Doha in the team event. The light blue 4X1500 – made up of Giulia Gabbrielleschi, Arianna Bridi, Gregorio Paltrinieri and Domenico Acerenza – lost only in the photo finish to Australia, who took the gold. On the lowest step of the podium, more than 38 seconds behind, Hungary. Italy fails to defend the title won in Fukuoka by just 20 cents. With the relay modified both in composition (in Japan there were Barbara Pozzobon and Ginevra Taddeucci) and in order (Paltrinieri before Acerenza), it is the final that costs the Azzurri the gold, with the twenty-eight year old from Potenza, fresh from the bronze in yesterday in the 5 km, which cannot resist the domineering return of Kyle Lee. «I gave it my all, my teammates were very good – he expressed regret to Rai Sport – It would have been nice to do it again, we’ll try again». «It was a great relay – Paltrinieri consoles him – Getting a medal is never easy and we are not repeating ourselves year after year. We’ll always want it to be golden but sport isn’t like that.” Technical manager Stefano Rubaudo is on the same page: «The Australians are in great condition, Mimmo was stronger on paper but that initial mistake in which he was going towards the second mark cost him a lot. The Australian’s sprint made the difference, with two tenths of a gap there is little to regret, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. He will make us invent something new to win next time.”