Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS conquered EuropePhoto: Carlos FERREIRA
STAG 2017 European Youth Championships in Portugal
In the thrilling seven games duel Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS of Greece beat Romania’s Cristian PLETEA to clinch the title in the Junior Boy’s Singles Event at the STAG 2017 European Youth Championships in Portugal. Bronze medal winners are Simon SODERLUND of Sweden and Rares SIPOS оf Romania.
Breathtaking final between SGOUROPOULOS and PLETEA insured us that the future of Old Continent’s table tennis is more then bright. In the fierce battle worth closing stages of the Continental Championships Greek player showed more skills and better nervous in the end.
“I struggled with the fatigue in the middle of tha match, after I was 3:1 up. PLETEA recovered and returned into the game. He was in the lead in seventh game, but I forced myself to calm down,” explained SGOUROPOULOS.
In the semi final Cristian PLETEA beat Simon SODERLUND of Sweden in straight, but very close games.
“Three games concluded by narrow margin today. It was because the pressure that semi final brought. I have the game for SODERLUND and I know how to beat him. Recently, only two months ago, it was the same straight games win. However the match for the final at the European championships is different story. Everything is harder here,” said PLETEA.
Unlike in the first semis, the other encounter was stretched to full distance. Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS needed seven games to overcame Rares SIPOS оf Romania. He won after he was 1:3 down.
“I started the match by being anxious. So far SIPOS has the better record against me. When I was 1:3 down, I started to play closer to the table, used my forehand more,” said Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS.
Cristian PLETEA (Romania) - Simon SODERLUND (Sweden) 4:0 (11:6, 12:10, 12:10, 11:9)
Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS (Greece) - Rares SIPOS (Romania) 4:3 (8:11, 11:6, 9:11, 10:12, 11:7, 12:10, 11:4)
Cristian PLETEA (Romania) - Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS (Greece) (9:11, 12:10, 8:11, 9:11, 11:7, 11:3, 10:12)