Natalia Baldizzone performing during last week's Artistic Skating World Cup in Trieste. / SUR

Natalia Baldizzone's golden return to the top of the skating podium

The 20-year-old artistic skater from Benalmádena defended her world title in Trieste to get the season off to a flying start

MARINA RIVAS

Natalia Baldizzone defended her title at last week's Artistic Skating World Cup in Trieste in what was the first big test of the year for the 20-year-old Benalmádena local, who brought a wide range of new moves to the event.

Baldizzone was able to defeat strong rivals in Martina Nuti and Emilia Zimermann and achieve the most points by following her routine to the music of Bizet's Carmen for three and a half minutes.

"We're very happy with the result of the first World Cup of the year, the next step is to make it to the Artistic World Cup final in Germany, during summer," she said, a goal which is likely to happen thanks to her win in Trieste.

However, the Benalmádena local is ambitious and demands a lot from herself, which are qualities needed to succeed. For that reason, she said that while her performance was good, she has a long way to go before being perfect. "I need to keep improving and polishing all the moves."

Added pressure

Baldizzone admitted that she's aware of the added pressure of going into competitions as the defending champion, and how she's on her rivals' radars. "There is pressure, because by winning the world championship there's more demanded of you, but I'm managing it well," she said.

The young Andalusian burst onto the scene in 2021 and made her mark on the national artistic skating scene after winning both the European and World titles in solo dance, in what was also just her second year competing in the senior category.

Baldizzone must now get back to preparing for her upcoming tournaments, which will also pave the way for her potential appearance at more events later in the year. "The Spanish Championship, next month, is next. The most important thing isn't the rivalry as such, but qualification for future competitions," she said.