KLEE and BONDAREVA at the top of the Cadet Girls Doubles EventPhoto: Carlos FERREIRA
STAG 2017 European Youth Championships in Portugal
Germany’s Sophia KLEE and Anastasia BONDAREVA succeeded to the top step at the medal rostrum in the Cadet Girls Doubles Event at the STAG 2017 European Youth Championships in Portugal. In the final they overcame Arina SLAUTINA and Nataliya MALININA of Russia. Bronze medal winners are Ekaterina ZIRONOVA and Elizabet ABRAAMIAN of Russia and Ozge YILMAZ and Ece HARAC of Turkey.
Germany’s pairings were under pressure only in the opening game, but once they settle into the rhythm they prevailed without great difficulties.
“It is incredible feeling. We played so many hard matches on our way to the gold. Not only in final, but also in semis it was very difficult to overcame ZIRONOVA and ABRAAMIAN,” said KLEE.
In the semi final both Russia’s pairings stared good, but only one reached ultimate stage. SLAUTINA and MALININA were 2:0 up before Ozge YILMAZ and Ece HARAC of Turkey recovered to level.
“We lost the focus and we let our adversary to come back into the game. In fifth we were in the dangerous situation again, after 9:5 it was 9:10. We started to play much more safe and we were focused to put the ball at the table,” explained SLAUTINA.
KLEE and BONDAREVA were two games down against Ekaterina ZIRONOVA and Elizabet ABRAAMIAN of Russia and they pulled out a remarkable recovery.
“We knew we have to change our attitude and to play more clever. I guess we were not fighting enough for each ball, but we started to play more aggressive and it was much better. Still, we had 9:9 in the decisive game, so it was not easy at all,” said BONDAREVA.
Sophia KLEE, Anastasia BONDAREVA (Germany) - Arina SLAUTINA, Nataliya MALININA (Russia) (9:11, 11:2, 11:7, 11:8)
Ekaterina ZIRONOVA, Elizabet ABRAAMIAN (Russia) - Sophia KLEE, Anastasia BONDAREVA (Germany) 2:3 (11:9, 11:8, 6:11, 8:11, 9:11)
Arina SLAUTINA, Nataliya MALININA (Russia)- Ozge YILMAZ, Ece HARAC (Turkey) 3:2 (11:9, 11:8, 5:11, 7:11, 12:10)