London 2012

Press release

Early start no impediment as Cicolari and Menegatti begin London 2012 with a win

Greta Cicolari (right) and Marta Menegatti got their London 2012 campaign off to a winning start

London, Great Britain, July 29, 2012 – Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti’s alarm may have gone off early in the morning, but that didn’t stop the Italians starting the London 2012 Olympic Games with a win over Russia’s Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova.

The Italians had to be up at 5.45am for a 9am start at Horse Guard’s Parade, but they felt it was to their advantage as they chase a medal at their first ever Olympic Games.

“It’s better like that,” Cicolari said. “You get up, eat breakfast, leave, play and then have two days free to recover.”

So far 2012 has been a good year for the 2011 European champions. They have won four medals on the FIVB SWATCH World Tour including bronze at their most recent tournament, the smart Grand Slam, Berlin.

Cicolari and Menegatti made a slow start to proceedings against Ukolova and Khomyakova and they lost the first set. They then recovered in the second and then dominated the third to win 17-21, 21-18, 15-8.

“It was a win,” Menegatti said. “We wanted a calm start but I suppose that sort of match was inevitable what with emotions running high, but it is out of the way now.

“I am just happy we can go leave with a win no matter how we played. I didn’t perform at all well and I made mistakes I normally wouldn’t make. Hopefully we will be able to understand why we made them.”

Next up for Cicolari and Menegatti is a match against Great Britain’s Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin before they conclude pool play against Marie-Andree Lessard and Annie Martin.

With the first match out of the way they are confident that the nerves that interrupted their Olympic debuts will not surface again and that will allow them to find their best form.

“We made mistakes we would normally make because it was out debut, but we won’t get too worried about them,” Cicolari said.

“We’ve worked our whole lives to reach this point and we recovered well in the second set and I was able to get past their blocks and make more blocks myself. This was the toughest match of the pool and we are on the right path.”

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