Home Sports Benny Pilato, flowers and smiles The power of awareness

Benny Pilato, flowers and smiles The power of awareness

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Benny Pilato, flowers and smiles The power of awareness

The 17-year-old from Taranto is the new leading lady of blue swimming At the Championships she amazes in the final and wins world gold in the 100 breaststroke

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With flowers on her head and gold around her neck, Benedetta Pilato dances to the success in the 100 breaststroke that move her from baby phenomenon to woman of Italian swimming. She remains a little girl, but in the water she has changed. A discard, an overtaking, the need to put doubts behind them. The smile that she has lost all naivety: now she knows how to let loose and devastate her opponents.

In this same pool, in May 2021, he signed the world record of 50 breaststroke (and with Ceccon’s there are two in the same pool) but he did it almost without realizing it, in his playground, a non-Olympic distance that it has come naturally to her since she was a child. At the last world championship, always in that carefree territory, she took home a 14-year-old silver. Then came the Olympics, with a whole load of expectations to manage even before knowing them and double the meters to swim. Disqualified in battery. She could have stayed with it, her head was spinning, only she immediately decided to let the others spin her: «First it all seemed easy, then it didn’t. But now, this podium, I’m enjoying it more than anything I’ve been before ».

The 100 frog, perhaps, does not yet know how to manage them, has learned to devour them. Benny wins in 1’05 ”93, does what it takes, tugs, slaps the water and then cries again. This time for herself: «I was shocked and I was shocked for a while. I wrote to my coach: “But did I win?” ». Vito D’Onghia is not there, the coach of one of the most important swimmers is not on the federal staff and he does not want to join because he works in an ASL and thinks he is there. Yet the duo has built this degree of trust and even if everyone repeats that, after high school, Pilate will find another place, far from Taranto.

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D’Onghia will come to see her for the 50 breaststroke, those who are always worth a little less because they don’t go to the Games, but remain the favorite game of the first Italian minor capable of winning a World Cup: “I’m still the youngest blue, alone that this time I kept my concentration. The panic came to me only for the time, almost 8 in the evening. But how long do I have to wait to swim? ». So early that even the hours of waiting are boring, “the last four years seem a lot more, I’m in no hurry to grow up. This Italy is beautiful, one emotion after another ». From Ceccon he would take «concentration before the races» and from Martinenghi «safety and carefree», it does not seem that he has much to steal from his teammates on the top step of the podium. A not so exclusive club in Italy: “we are a close-knit group, we have fun and we throw ourselves at each other”. But she is the only one who weaves the flowers in her hair, with the innocent look of someone who has actually stopped being so. She and she is softly aware of her own power. –

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