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Judo, positive balance for Italy at the start of the season. Bellandi and Parlati immediately competitive in the new categories


After the first three events of 2022, the Judo World Tour closes its doors for a month in anticipation of a double Grand Slam within ten days in Tbilisi (25-27 March) and Antalya (1-3 April) . The season has yet to really get underway, with the European Championships at the end of April and the start of the Olympic qualification period for Paris 2024 set for June 24, but Italy can confidently project itself towards the key events of the coming months.

Between Almada, Paris and Tel Aviv all the Azzurri returning from the Tokyo Olympic participation made their return to the international competition with the exception of Manuel Lombardo (ready to go from 66 to 73 kg) and Maria Centracchio (bronze in five circles in the 63 kg in Japan).

The most encouraging signs in a tricolor key came thanks to Alice Bellandi and Christian Parlati , both making their debut this year in a new weight category (-78 and -90 kg respectively). The 23-year-old from Brescia did not need an adaptation period and was immediately able to get on the podium in both competitions, obtaining the best results of her career in the major circuit and proving to be at ease against the new opponents she has faced so far. Good approach in a new context also for the 24 year old Neapolitan, able to reach the final in the Portuguese Grand Prix and then collect a decent seventh place in Bercy.

Judo, Grand Slam Tel Aviv 2022: the Israeli three days ends with the podium of Alice Bellandi

Very positive indications also for Francesca Milani (final in Tel Aviv in the 48 kg lost with Boukli), Giorgia Stangherlin (fifth in the 78 kg in Israel) and Nadia Simeoli (fifth in the 63 kg in Tel Aviv), while some big names in the national team such as Odette Giuffrida, Giovanni Esposito and Fabio Basile achieved good results without particularly shining in relation to their potential. Physiological setback finally to the first seasonal outing for Assunta Scutto , fresh from a second part of 2021 extremely intense and expensive from a physical and mental point of view. The 20-year-old from Campania has however already shown that she can beat anyone among the seniors in the 48 kg and represents not only the future, but also the present of Italian judo.