Romania recovered from 2:0 in reversePhoto: Roman BENICKY
Belarus concluded their semi final in fast lane
The last teams to leave the Slovnaft Arena, after fierce battle on the day four at the European Youth Championships in Bratislava, were Romania and Russia. Romanian Junior Girls won their encounter against Russia to book the place in the ultimate stage. Tomorrow, for the title they will play against Belarus.
Diana LUPU lost the opening game against Daria CHERNOVA, so at the beginning of the second duel Adina DIACONU admitted she was very nervous.
“I was so afraid and under great pressure. It was difficult for me to play against defender, Maria MALANINA,” explained Adina.
With 2:0 it seamed Russia is in the driving seats, but Andrea CLAPA brought Romania back in game with the victory over Daria CHERNORAY. On her second visit to the table, Adina was focused and lethal. However the burden of the decisive match was on Diana’s shoulders. She preserved her patience to overcame MALANINA’s defending skills.
“I had great support from my team mates. It was important for me to be patient and to wait for the right moment to attack,” said LUPU.
Tomorrow they will meet Belarus.
“Last time Belarus won, but it was not the same Romanian team, as it is now. Also the tradition of winning titles at the European Championships is on our side. We had very good warm up today, for their defenders,” said DIACONU.
Belarus had much easier match in the semi final. They overcame Turkey in straight matches.
“We had few options in case something went wrong. However we did not need back up plans. Everything went as we predicted. Alina NIKITCHANKA did a great job at the opening. She beat Tan KUBRA in straight matches. Daria TRIGOLOS was stretched to full distance, but still she prevailed against Simay KULKACEKEN,” explained coach Viktoria PAVLOVICH.
Belarus made their way through the final from the second division.
"Sometimes you have to hit the bottom, before you reach the top," added PAVLOVICH.
The quarterfinal stage of the Junior Girls Event was full of surprises. It started with the early departure of the top seeded France and continued with the great success of Turkey. Belarus is again on the path of big success, in past paved, among many, by sisters PAVLOVICH. Just to mention, Veronika PAVLOVICH is again the part of the winning mosaic since she is the coach of the junior girls team in Bratislava. Alina NIKITCHANKA, Hanna PATSEYEVA and Daria TRIGOLOS halted the progress of last year’s champions, team of France. It was only Audrey ZARIF, who managed to score.
Turkey is one of the biggest upsets in girl’s tournament. Simay KULAKCEKEN, Kubra TAN and Damla UZEL showed brave performance against Belgium led by Lisa LUNG. LUNG was at the top of the task, beating both TAN and KULAKCEKEN, but the other girls could not follow her.
Russia’s Daria CHERNORAY, Daria CHERNOVA and Maria MALANINA overcame Sweden in straight matches, whilst Romania beat England in the match highlighted with Tin Tin HO’s excellent performance. Maria TSAPTSINOS’ shoulder injury forced her to withdraw, so England played only with Tin Tin and Lois PEAKE. Against Adina DIACONU, Diana LUPU and Alina ZAHARIA their chances were not great, but still they forced Romania to go full distance.