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European Youth Championships - 17 Jul 2013

Italy changed the map of Europe


The map of Europe has changed. After five years of dominance France stepped off and the throne now belongs to Italy. Italian Junior Team clinched the title at the 56th European Youth Championships in Ostrava. They did it in very convincing style, by beati

The map of Europe has changed. After five years of dominance France stepped off and the throne now belongs to Italy. Italian Junior Team clinched the title at the 56th European Youth Championships in Ostrava. They did it in very convincing style, by beating last year’s champions. Or to be precise champions for last five years – France.

“Winning the final against the France, it is a surprise. I can not say we planned that, but I was very confident in my team,” explained coach Lorenzo NANNONI .

The things has not started good for Italian team. They were seeded no. two, but ended the Group stage at position no. four. Italy suffered defeat against Hungary and Slovakia. They overcame Netherlands.

“We started very bad, but this system is good for players. It gives you the chance to come back into the game. It is very important for teams like Italian, with players such is Alessandro BACIOCCHI. He is slow starter. He needs the time to get into the game and he build his performance from round to round. So, even we were last in the Group we succeeded through the play off matches. We rose our game during that matches.”

The main force of the team are Leonardo MUTTI and BACIOCCHI. “We have players that were sixth in Kazan two years ago and fourth in Austria last year. Looking under that light, this success is not a big surprise. Also MUTTI already has very good record of beating top players. He is not afraid of them and especially he has a game from adversaries from France. In Ostrava he exploded after the play off match against England.”

For BACIOCCHI, coach NANNONI said: “I can not remember when he has played good opening match. At the beginning of national or international tournaments he always need the time to get into the game. From round to round he gets better and better. He is great fighter and one his great qualities is that he is very brave. Alessandro is not afraid of coming into the fight. Some players does not like to play when the result is 2:2, but he just love to compete under extra pressure.”

Third player in the team is Maurizio MASSARELLI. “He gave 100 percent here. I could not ask more of him. Against Swede Anton KALLBERG in quarterfinal he was 2:1 up, and 10:7, but he lost. After that he did not give up and won that match 3:2,” said coach NANNONI.

Milica NIKOLIC, EWT

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