Francesco De Fabiani and the entire Italian expedition prematurely close the Worlds experience following the application of federal protocols on COVID-19. Now the focus is on the 15 Km in the Engadine.
Oberstdorf, Germany – Mar. 03rd 2021 • Began badly, Francesco De Fabiani's adventure at the 2021 Nordic Skiing World Championships in "his" Oberstdorf, ended if possible even worse, with the early return of the entire Azzurri team, following some positive cases found between general and technical personnel. In application of the protocols, the Italian Winter Sports Federation has therefore decided to withdraw the Team to safeguard the health of individuals, as per official press release at the following link: https://www.fisi.org/comunicazione-in-merito-alle-nazionali-italiane-ai-mondiali-di-sci-nordico-di-oberstdorf/
«I am disappointed and embittered for this World Championship – says Francesco – with my respect for the federal choices aimed at safeguarding everyone's health, which are above all competitive performances, but coming home early hurts». The beginning of the Worlds was negative, with a Sprint in classic technique on a course very suitable for the characteristics of the Alpine of the Centro Sportivo Esercito, unfortunately ended badly due to an incredible uphill fall: «If I could, I would really do that Sprint again, because I felt great and had excellent materials, but unfortunately sport is like this, sometimes it gives, sometimes it takes away». And that sport, sometimes cruel, "took away" again in the long-awaited Team Sprint where Defast competed with Federico Pellegrino, finishing in 5th place: «If the Sprint could have different outcomes without the crash, Team Sprint instead was clear: both Chicco and I gave our best, we didn't get the medal like two years ago in Seefeld in the same format, perhaps also due to some unfavorable situations, starting from the fact that we were in the second semifinal, with snow decidedly heavier and slower than the first one, but above all with less recovery between the semifinal and the final».
So, no 4x10 km relay, no 50 km final: «It's really a pity, we were very keen on the relay, mindful of an excellent and unexpected performance a year ago in Lahti, where we finished fourth close to the podium. The biggest disappointment for me remains the 50 Km mass start in classic on Sunday, where I might not have been the favorite, but certainly as a format it could have given me that "redemption" from the opaque performances obtained so far, since my condition is still very good».
The season is not over yet, there is still an interesting possibility for the skier from Gressoney, who is already thinking about the future: «I just hope to be able to compete in the 15 km on March 13 in Engadine, Switzerland, since it will be in classic and mass start».
Press Office of Francesco De Fabiani
Written by Paolo Mei
Translated by Nicolò Caneparo