Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Go Manu, go

Manuela Massari, Italian National Team

Written by Emanuele Toti (traduction: Agn├Ęs Aubert)

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Who are you?
My name is Manuela Massari, 28 years old, from Rome, Italy. I study and work: I am graduating in Sports Science, and I teach swimming and aquagym in a Sport Centre.
I train 6 times a week in my club, the Ecole de Combat, in Rome, with my coach (and Italian National Team coach) Marco Gilotti.

My titles:
National:
* National Champion Savate Assaut 2004-2005-2006-2007-2008
* National Champion kick boxing light 2004-2005-2007
* National Champion (Amateurs) k-1 style 2005


International:
* 3rd Place in the World Savate Assaut Championships 2004
* 1st place in the University World Savate Assaut Championships 2005
* 3rd Place in the European Savate Assaut Championships 2005
* Vice-European Champion Combat 2006
* 3rd place World Combat Championships 2007
* European Champion Combat 2008
* European Champion Savate Assault 2009

How did you start doing Savate?
I came across savate by chance. I was practicing karate at the time, and, since my gym was closed during the summer, I went to train with my boyfriend (Alessandro Caruso, Vice European Champion, Combat) in Marco Gilotti`s club: I have never stopped since then!

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My favourites techniques?
All the kicks: fouette, chasse, reverse tournant!

What do you think you have achieved in Savate?
I think I still have a long way to go, but I`m glad I have reached a good level, at least for an Italian athlete.

Sport - Is it your passion or necessity?
Sport is a passion, I started when I was 3, and never stopped, and I love it so much that I made it my job. Without passion you can`t get to a good level, especially here, in Italy, where you can`t make a living out of savate, and you have to pay all your travel expenses!

What do you think about the international development in Savate?
These last few years the International Federation has done a great job in promoting savate all over the world, and we can see the result in the international competitions, where the average level is constantly rising.

What are your future prospects?
My greatest dream would be to open my own club, have children and teach them savate! I`d like so much to start a children's savate course!

What is your life like outside savate?
I'm a very active person, and outside the gym I`m like any other girl my age...I like snowboarding, going out with friends, the usual things.

What is the biggest influence you had in Savate?
My boyfriend, without him I would have never started!

Who are your favourite athletes?
The athletes I admire are all French: Ismaila Sarr, Amri Madani and Erika Hulle, with whom I had the honour and pleasure to fight more than once.

I would also like to thank a few people if it`s possible.
Thanks to my coach, Marco Gilotti, who`s been with me all these years, to my boyfriend, Alessandro Caruso, still my favourite sparring partner, to my friends, who helped me in the hardest moments, and last but not least to my first karate coach, Franco Massimi who was with me in my first competitions and taught me to respect the others.

And of course thanks to the International Federation for honouring me with this interview!!


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