Split feelings for the first ever Italian medal

Posted on | July 27, 2014 | Category: Arena

Scalet tt

Italy has won a medal at JWOC for the first time ever. But Riccardo Scalet has split feelings after the historic race in Bulgaria.

The 18-year-old Italian ran quite slowly to the first control to get good contact with the map in this difficult terrain with so many details. It was a good tactic, and he then had an incredible race. His silver is the first medal ever for an Italian at JWOC. This year’s JWOC is number 25; it started in Sweden in 1990.

“It’s not so nice that I am the first Italian, and earlier runners have not succeeded in taking a medal”.

– But nice for you!

“Yes, of course”.

He is very keen on his sport, and the medal will give him a lot more inspiration and energy.

Pleasing for the coach

Jaroslav Kacmarcik has been head coach for the Italians since 2009. In his first season, Mikhail Mamleev got bronze at the World Championships. Jaroslav wasn’t so involved in Mamleev’s training. It’s a bit different with Riccardo; he has been followed by Kacmarcik. For the trainer it was extremely pleasing with this success now. That gives motivation for going on. After a not so good WOC on home ground, he has been thinking about the future.

“Riccardo’s very good races give so much pleasure”, the former WOC medallist says.

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Soon to Norway

Riccardo was at the European Youth Championships in Macedonia earlier this summer, and finished seventh and eighth. He wasn’t satisfied with that. Now he has achieved much more than he expected.

– Now you’ve got silver; when will you take gold?

“It’s not so easy. Next year I think it will be very challenging for non-Nordics. For me the goal is to make good progress”. Already in a week’s time he will take part in a training camp up in Rauland in Norway as preparation for the coming JWOC.

Scalet can even take part in the JWOC the year after Norway. He has two years left as a junior.

A person to learn from

Riccardo lives in Transaqua in Primiero, the host venue for JWOC in 2009. It’s up in the mountains and not so far away from where WOC was this year. “I live about 40 kilometres from where the Middle Distance and Relay were organised. That is as the crow flies. It takes about one and a half hours to drive”.

From time to time he has a very good Austrian to train with: Robert Merl, who is doing well at senior level and has won gold at JWOC. He is together with Carlotta Scalet, Riccardo’s sister. “When he is at our home I train with him”, the historic Italian tells.

At home in Italy Riccardo is also competing in the senior class on his way to reaching top level.

Photos: Erik Borg

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