(By Matilde Anghinoni) Verona returns to the center of major sporting events with the finals of female and male under17 weightlifting. Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April will be awarded the category titles at the Fondazione M. Bentegodi Sports Center, always an ally of youth sports.   

120 athletes between 13 and 17 years old are expected this weekend in Verona. Boys and girls representing 60 sports clubs from all over the Italian regions will compete for the Italian medals. And among these, also some Blue Talents returned from the World Youth Championship in Durres (Albania) last 24 March-1 April. They brought home four medals and seven Italian category records. As Greta de Riso, bronze medal and holder of the new Italian U17 record of specialty and total with 181 kg. There will also be Simone Abati, who already wears around his neck three silver in the snatch, clean and total at 317 kg, who is the new record man of all three specialties. But also, the very young Sara Dal Bò, the thirteen-year-old who broke the U17 snatch and total record.  

The event is promoted by the Fondazione Marcantonio Bentegodi Verona 1868. For more than a century, the foundation has set itself the goal of giving prominence to the little-known or less popular sports that have more problems in finding sponsors and that are rarely taken up by the mass media.  

Weightlifting Bentegodi in Milano, 1957
Weightlifting Bentegodi in Milano, 1957

The 150th anniversary of the death of its founder and first president, Marcantonio Bentegodi, will be celebrated with the youth finals of weightlifting. And precisely in the spirit of Bentegodi, a special invitation was addressed to the students of the middle and high schools of Verona to approach them to the vast world of weighing. A weekend, therefore, where all young people will be protagonists.   

The races will be held on Saturday 29, from 8 to 19, and Sunday 30, from 8.30 to 16. According to the rules of the FIPE (Italian Weightlifting Federation), the participants of the race will be the first six athletes of each category of personal weight – ten for boys and ten for girls – who competed during the regional.   

On Saturday, there will also be the “Opening Ceremony” at 11.30, which will be attended by the 1984 Olympic weightlifting champion of Los Angeles, Norberto Obergurger. Next to him there will also be some Veronese and Venetian Pesistic champions, as Franco Pighi, Fausto and Franco Tosi, Franco Omaggio, Carlotta Brunelli and Celine Ludovica Delia.           

In Verona, weightlifting is a discipline with a great tradition that boasts many leading exponents. For this reason, the championships have the patronage of the Veneto Region, Province and Municipality of Verona, CONI and Provincial School Office of Verona as well as the support of AGSM-AIM.  

Two days of sport in which Verona confirms an important attraction for young athletes.   

FIPE (Italian Weightlifting Federation)