Russia’s cadets clinched gold after 10 yearsPhoto: Robert Valai
European Youth Championships
In the duel of last year’s quarterfinalists at the Cadet Boys Teams Event, Russia went to the top. At the final stage of the Event at the European Youth Championships in Zagreb, Russia beat Sweden to claim the title.
Azerbaijan rewrites the history book. They won first ever medal at the European Youth Championships in the 59 years rich history of the tournament. They took bronze as well as Hungary, the team who finished the competition at the position no. 13 last year.
From a first moment of the opening match between Truls MOREGARDH and Lev KATSMAN both players kept the pressure high. MOREGARDH had a good start, but KATSMAN was better in the closing stage and won the opening match. Martin FRIIS started the match against Vladimir SIDORENKO in dominant mode and he held his grip tight until the end.
When KATSMAN returned to arena to join SIDORENKO in doubles, drama started again. It seamed that MOREGARDH and FRIIS were at the top of the game, but their adversaries were ready for success.
“We played for a medal so many times before and we failed. We worked so hard to get us where we are now,” said SIDORENKO.
Lev showed brave effort.
“MOREGARDH forced me to play at the edge of the knife. I could not allow myself single easy mistakes. I have to go to each ball and to stay focused.”
In Cadet Boy’s Event Russia won the crown last time in 1996, as a Soviet Union they had won seven (1969, 1971, 1972, 1976, 1985, 1987) and additional under European flag in 1992. Sweden won titles previously in seven occasions (1974, 1975, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1994, 2006).
Sweden – Russia
Truls MOREGARDH - Lev KATSMAN 2:3 (9:11, 11:8, 11:8, 11:13, 8:11), Martin FRIIS – Vladimir SIDORENKO 0:3 (4:11, 3:11, 7:11), MOREGARDH, FRIIS – KATSMAN, SIDORENKO 2:3(11:9, 4:11, 9:11, 11:9, 16:18)