Interview with Italy's Antonino Fiorentino

He is a young Italian, like all Italians he has style, a two handed style and he will be going to Shanghai this autumn.


He is not yet a well known name but will be one day, He is a young Italian, like all Italians he has style, a two handed style. We caught up with the exciting Antonino Fiorentino just before he was about to leave for the World Youth Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

Congratulations Antonino on your participation is the World Cup this year, How does it feel to be going to Shanghai China?
Thank you very much. It feels amazing. I have a couple of friends that have bowled the World Cup in the past and they all told me it's really well organised. Plus it will be held in such an interesting city. I am looking forward to it.

What things will you now do to prepare for such a big event?
I have a couple more events before starting preparation for the World Cup as I will bowl WYC in the U.S. and EMC in Belgium. For sure I will increase the amount of practice in the month before leaving for China.

What would it mean for you to win the World Cup? Do you have a list of events you would like to win?
It would be an amazing result because there are many good bowlers participants. First of all I would like to win a gold medal at EMC or WMC and then a couple of EBT events. I also want to become one of the most successful bowlers ever in Italian Championships.

You will not be the only two handed player in China for sure, When did you adopt the style, did you play one handed at first?
I started bowling two handed in 2009, when I was 13. Yes, I played with one hand at the beginning, but one night in August I decided to try two handed and I have never stopped.

How quickly did your scores start to rise after you went two handed, did you watch a lot of videos to see how others were doing it?
The scores got higher pretty quickly. I didn't watch many videos, my technique right now is pretty much as it was 7 years ago, I just got a little bit cleaner.

Where did bowling start for you and who helped you to improve?
It started really early because my parents built a bowling centre before I was born. I have never had a personal coach, but I worked with national youth team coaches and they increased my knowledge a lot.

Growing up in a bowling centre must have been fun, Did you work in the centre when younger and what do you do now for a job?
Yeah, it 's really funny because I have never worked there. Now I am attending university and studying Law. I will start my third year in September.

For the World to learn about Antonino Fiorentino, can you tell us a little about your bowling career so far?
I won a couple of medals in 2013 EYC in Wien. I had a pair of good results on the EBT and at EMC. I am the defending Italian champion in singles and doubles. I hope I will get bigger results in the future, starting from 2016 World Cup.

To get to the standard you have without coaches is impressive, was it difficult at first to trust your national coaches?
Yeah it was. Especially when at some point things changed, I was a bit sceptic about the new one but it took me a little to realise it was a big chance to learn a lot.

There seems to be a lot of good young talent in Italy now, is bowling still popular in your country?
Yeah we do have much young talent in Italy now. We had good results at EMC last year in Aalborg and we are looking to improve them in Brussels later in summer. Luckily time is on our side. Bowling here is not as popular as we want it to be, but we are doing as much as possible to help it.

What is it about bowling you enjoy so much?
First of all I like that it isn't a sport that's just about fatigue like cycling, but technique and knowledge take a big part of it. Then I like it because you can never say you know everything about it.
Understanding ball motion is probably the most important and the most difficult part of the game and the one I am always trying to improve in my game.

What kind of things do you enjoy doing when you are not bowling?
I enjoy spending time with my friends. I am really good at Fifa and I like to follow many sports (football, tennis, basketball).

Do you do any fitness training or visit the gym?
I went to the gym in the past, I have been too busy in the last year. But since I came home in May I started training physically and lately biking as well.

You have a chance now to thank people for helping you in your career so far, who would you like to mention?
Maria Cristina Sgrosso and Nicola Pongolini have been the most important people in my career. They have been really close to me for many years.

Finally Antonino, Why should people try bowling?
They should try because it allows you to travel around the world and meet many interesting people from other countries. But also it's really fun even if you just bowl league. I can say that more you learn about it, the more you get curious.
Interview by Dom Gall.


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