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In Rome, artistic swimming opens for the first time to individual men

2022-08-13T13:51:35.004Z

The European Artistic Swimming Championships innovated with the first individual events reserved for men.



In Rome, the European Artistic Swimming Championships gave rise to a great novelty with the first men's solo events, a "

historic

" and "

magical

" moment for the pioneers of the discipline who hope to see their sport gain momentum.

magnitude.

"

I want to say 'Finally!'

“Blows Virginie Dedieu, the former triple French world champion in synchronized swimming.

"

There's no reason it shouldn't exist.

»

History will remember that it was the Italian Giorgio Minisini who, at the age of 26, became the first solo European champion by winning the technical event with 85.7033 points, ahead of the Spaniard Fernando Diaz del Rio (79.4951 pts) and the Serbian Ivan Martinovic (58.8834 pts).

It was very important to be here, that the judges finally see men competing in this event.

It was a historic moment, and I can't wait to see how far our sport can go now.

To be one of the first guys to take part in this event was magical

,” reacted Minisini.

"

I take this gold as a starting point for me and for the whole movement

," he added to

La Gazzetta dello Sport

.

The Italian runs his program ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP

For the Italian, who swam his first ballets at the age of four, artistic swimming is a family affair.

His mother Susanna De Angelis is a former synchronized swimmer and his father Roberto Minisini a former international judge in the discipline.

Mixed duo since 2015

He was already there in 2015 when synchronized swimming was opened up to diversity for the first time.

It was at the Kazan Worlds in Russia where the International Federation had inaugurated a mixed duet category.

American Bill May or Frenchman Benoît Beaufils were among the pioneers.

It was then a major innovation for this sport, often associated with grace and elegance, qualities supposed to be rather “

feminine

”.

We always say blue for boys, pink for girls, or dance for girls and judo for boys.

Well no, we can do everything in fact

, ”says Virginie Dedieu.

On Sunday, Minisini will have the opportunity to win a second medal in the free solo event.

Among his rivals, Quentin Rakotomalala is also a fan.

"

He's someone I admire a lot, so it's funny to swim in competition with him

," says the 19-year-old Frenchman, who started artistic swimming by following in his sister's footsteps.

I used to swim races at the base and I loved seeing their galas and competitions.

One day, a coach offered me to try because she saw that I loved it and that I came to all the galas

,” he explains.

(What I liked) was the artistic side, the dance side.

I love water since I was little.

All that mixed together, it was something really made for me.

»

He admits, however, that the gaze of others has sometimes weighed on him.

Today things are better but when I was little, I saw incomprehension, questioning in people's eyes.

»

Nicola Pietrangeli Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto / PANORAMIC

Sometimes I was ashamed to say I did, so I said I was just swimming.

Quentin Rakotomalala

Sometimes I was ashamed to say I was doing it, so I was just saying I was swimming.

I hung out with kids who didn't understand that a boy could play a girl's sport.

But now I assume completely

, ”he continues.

On Sunday, he will put on his pince-nez to swim to the sound of the melancholic music of Benjamin Clementine on a program evoking his progression in artistic swimming.

He will have a real chance of medals since only four competitors will be lined up due to the low density of the discipline at the moment.

The creation of this category and its broadcast on television within the framework of the European Championships can create vocations, want to believe the actors of artistic swimming.

It's an opportunity to tell (the little boys) that it's possible.

If you want, go ahead, go for it,

”smiles Virginie Dedieu.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2022-08-13

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