A total of 147 teams will compete in PortugalPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
2017 STAG European Youth Table Tennis Championships
The draw for the 2017 STAG European Youth Table Tennis Championships, 14th-23rd July, Guimaraes, Portugal, was held a couple days ago, with a total of 147 teams in four competitions. Defending champions are Italy (Junior Boys Team), Romania (Junior Girls Team) and Russia in both cadet events.
Medal winners of the 2016 Junior Boys Team event, held last year in Zagreb, Croatia, now will start in two different groups. Defending champion Italy shares Group D with Belgium (actual bronze medalist) beside Slovak Republic and Greece, while 2016 runner-up Czech Republic and last summer semi-finalist Romania will play in Group B, alongside Denmark and Serbia.
A 37 teams in total will compete in 2017 Junior Boys Team event and 16 out of them have their place in the Lavel 1. Group A is composed by France, England, Poland and Slovenia, while Group C gathers Russia, Germany, Spain and Turkey.
Reigning champion of the Junior Girls Team event (35 teams in total in two levels), Romania will play in Group A against France, Croatia and Slovenia. The 2016 runner-up Serbia (Group D) is going to fight with Germany, Poland and Turkey. Last year`s bronze medalist Russia is placed in Group B, together with Sweden, Belgium and Norway, while other semi-finalist from Zagreb, Spain, starts from Group C, where other three competitors are Azerbaijan, Belarus and Hungary.
Two Russian teams won gold last year in both cadet events. Actual champions of Cadet Boys Teams will play in Group A (Italy, Turkey, Ukraine), while 2016 runner-up Sweden shares Group C with Hungary, Poland and Denmark. A total of 40 national sides will compete in this part of championships. Group B are composed by France, Portugal, Romania and Spain, while Belgium, Germany, Croatia and Austria are placed in Group D.
Regarding Cadet Girls Teams (35 teams in two levels), defending champion Russia shares Group A with Hungary, Spain and Slovenia. The 2016 runner-up Poland will face France, Turkey and Belarus. Group C has strong team of Romania (2016 bronze medalist) as well as Ukraine, Croatia and Sweden, while Germany, Czech Republic, England and Greece will play in Group D.
Medal winners of the team`s events in 2016
JBT: Gold Italy, Silver Czech Republic, Bronze Belgium, Romania
JGT: Gold Romania, Silver Serbia, Bronze Spain, Russia
CBT: Gold Russia, Silver Sweden, Bronze Azerbaijan, Hungary
CGT: Gold Russia, Silver Poland, Bronze Romania, Slovenia