Petanque, Italy flies: gold, silver and bronze at the World Championships in Karlslunde

Diego Rizzi and Alessio Cocciolo champions in the male couple, Vanessa Romeo and Valentina Petulicchio bronze in the female. The satisfaction of President De Sanctis

A gold, a silver and a bronze: this is Petanque’s Italy spoils at the World Championships in Karlslunde, Denmark. Diego Rizzi and Alessio Cocciolo, who triumphed in the male couple, were crowned World Champions. In the world championship final, the Azzurri beat the Swiss Maiky Molinas and Joseph Molinas 13-1. Bronze medals, on the other hand, for Tunisia and Cambodia.

The blue medals

Great result for Rizzi and Cocciolo, who bring Italy to the top of the world after 43 years in the most practiced internationally-practiced bowling specialty. The two new world champions won, in order, with Scotland 13-0, Thailand 13-4, Cambodia 13-0, in the round of 16 again against Thailand for 8-7, in the quarterfinals with Senegal for 13-12 after three hours and twenty minutes of the match and, in the semifinal, against the new vice-world champions, Mohamed Khaled Bourgruiba and Sofien Ben Brahim (Tunisia). The final was the perfect match and the success was fully deserved for the Azzurri led by coach Riccardo Capaccioni. Diego Rizzi, before the world champion success, had won the silver medal in the men’s Individual, defeated 13-8 by the Spanish Jesùs Escacho Alarcon at the end of a match well played by the Ligurian athlete in the presence of the new world champion who he played the perfect match, without errors. Rizzi, before the final, had lost against Thailand 13-7, won with Serbia 13-3 and with Canada 13-1, in the round of 16 success against the hosts of Denmark for 13-11, in the quarter-finals success against the Principality of Monaco 13-10, before the success in the semifinal 13-7 against the Belgian André Lozano (the latter bronze as well as the Swiss Maiky Molinas. The third blue medal (bronze) of the Danish expedition, led by the councilor Michele Bersezio, was conquered by Vanessa Romeo and Valentina Petulicchio, passed in the semifinals by the Spanish Aurelia Blazquez Ruiz and Sara Diaz Reyez. In the other tests, Vanessa Romeo stopped in the round of 16 in the Women’s Individual, while Alessio Cocciolo and Valentina Petulicchio closed the Mixed Pair competition in the quarterfinals, defeated by the Spaniards Cardenas-Diaz Reyes, at the end of the vice-world champions event. The mixed pair was won by the Thai duo co composed by Sarawut Sribbonpeng and Nantawan Fueangsanit.

Federal compliments

“The compliments go to the new world champions, Diego Rizzi and Alessio Cocciolo, two top level athletes, thanks to whom we can compete at world level in the Petanque – the comment of the federal president Marco Giunio De Sanctis -. I am really happy for the gold won by our two athletes in a specialty that the Italian Bocce Federation is spreading throughout the country. The so-called small bowls are the most widespread specialty in the world and it is our job to have them practiced in all regions of Italy. Compared to 2017, when Petanque was played in the four territories in which it has traditionally always been played, we have reached ten regions. It was since 1979 that Italy had not won a World Cup among seniors, while Rizzi returned to triumph after his youth world championship success. When we awarded the world champions at the Coni Hall of Honor, in the presence of the president Giovanni Malagò, on June 15, 2021, I underlined how I would also have liked to pay homage to an athlete from Petanque. Eleven months have passed and my wish has been granted. I hope that this World Cup can be a further spur for the entire soccer and Petanque movement. Moreover, in particular for Diego Rizzi, the strongest and best known Italian athlete in the international field, this World title represents the culmination of a great career and, above all, the hope that he can realize, as soon as possible, the dream of victory in the world championship. Individual test “. “The compliments, however, go to the whole Italian expedition. Each member returned with at least one medal around his neck – concluded President De Sanctis – Capaccioni is doing an excellent job and the Azzurri have proven themselves in a competition that is as fascinating as it is difficult “.

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