Tomorrow the athletes will enjoy the rest day, whilst team managers and delegates will attend the Inline Hockey Global Summit: a workshop and roundtable about the future development of the discipline.
The Americans and "le Bleu" started the dance in the Hodegart Arena with the first semifinal of the day. In the first period, USA ruled the game: sudden counter-attacks and quick and accurate passes made life really hard for the French team. The partial score (0-3) before the break reflected the athletes' aptitude. Back from the locker rooms the French intensified the game and the match became tougher on both sides with clear sparks between the teams. The defending champions reduced the distance thanks to a great goal by Lucas Discazaux but the Americans came back and, after a few passes in the goal area, scored the 1-4.
It was then the turn of the "Azzurrini" against the Spaniards: obviously the memory goes throwback to the 2016 semifinal in which the Italians beat Spain 5-3 in a crowdy Hodegart. Both the two teams never won the Gold before and the match was undoubtedly one of the most awaited of the day. The Spaniards, as the USA team, convinced since the debut for both tecnhnique and strategy; Since long time Italy is trying to reach the first step of the podium and this team seemed to have what it takes. Spain scored the first goal but Italy tied in power play: in spite of the repeated actions, at the end of the first period it was still a tie. Back to the rink, the teams kept on pushing buth the game was so balanced. Italy took the lead with a great goal by Davide Gatti on assist by Davide Rosso. At 3.29 and 3.06 two chances to tie but the Italian goalie defended: a breathtaking last minute and the third goal at empty cage delivered the Golden ticket to Italy.
JUNIOR MEN - click on the match to watch the podcast
Roana. Australia - Chinese Taipei 2-6
Roana. Germany - Poland 2-3
Roana. Colombia - Great Britain 5-1
Asiago. Sweden - Canada 2-8
Roana. Namibia - New Zealand 4-1
Asiago. Czech Republic - Switzerland 9-0
Roana. Australia - Germany 3-2
Roana. Chinese Taipei - Poland 6-5
Junior Men July 21 - Finals
Asiago. BRONZE. France - Spain 12.15pm
Asiago. GOLD. USA - Italy 7.00pm
It was then the turn of USA - Spain. The defending champions seemed to be unstoppable during all the match: Spaniard attempts to come back had no results and USA flies to the Gold Final. The last match was between Canada and Czech Republic: two countries in which traditionally inline hockey has a great suport and impact. Czech Republic team got the better of the Canadiennes and will play against USA for the Gold Medal on 21st.
SENIOR WOMEN - click on the match to watch the podcast
Asiago. India - Latvia 0-13
Asiago. China - Australia 1-8 first period - second period
Asiago. New Zealand - Argentina 1-4
Asiago. Italy - Finland 4-5
Roana. China - India 0-1 (Forfeit)
Roana. Sweden - Latvia 4-2
Senior Women July 21 - Finals
Asiago. BRONZE. Spain - Canada 2.15pm
Asiago. GOLD. USA - Czech Republic 8.45pm
Pics credits: Roberta Strazzabosco & Max Pattis
Facebook Highlights credits: Wissem Jaubert