Italy regains their title in Junior Boys EventPhoto: Robert Valai
European Youth Championships
After three years Italy is at the throne again. Italy beat Czech Republic to claim the title in the Junior Boys Teams Event at the European Youth Championships in Zagreb.
Belgium and Romania won bronze medals. They improved their last year’s result. Belgium was 11th, whilst Romania concluded the Teams Event in Bratislava on position no. 18th.
Jiri MARTINKO played like the man on mission against Matteo MUTTI. The opening contest was very close, but Czech was always one step ahead, forcing MUTTI to fight to stay in the game. Daniele PINTO failed to put pressure on Tomas POLANSKY. He had his chances in the second game, which finished by narrowest margin, but POLANSKY was even more precise in the next game. He won third game 11:4.
Luca BRESSAN won the first game for Czech Republic in the third contest of the match. He had beat Vlastimil BUBEN by narrow margin, before secured the next game in less close duel. Italy prolonged the end of the match.
On his second return to the table POLANSKY lost his first two games against MUTTI. He recovered to level and in nail biting finish that fired the spectators he could not nail the match. MUTTI moved Italy to deciding contest.
PINTO showed he had hart for decisive match.
“We were 0:2 down when I told MATTEO ‘C’mon you can do it.’ He moved it to another gear and we won. We believed in ourselves, but we did not believe we could get so far. It is like dream come true, but I think I am still dreaming,” said PINTO. ”In the last duel I stayed calm and focused. My mind was clear. That was the key.”
Czech Republic never had won gold medal before, but as Czechoslovakia they clinched 5 (1961,1968,1969,1970,1980). Previously Italy won gold in 2013.
Italy - Czech Republic 3:2
Matteo MUTTI - Jiri MARTINKO 0:3 (10:12, 8:11, 9:11) Daniele PINTO - Tomas POLANSKY 0:3 (6:11, 10:12, 4:11), Luca BRESSAN – Vlastimil BUBEN (12:10, 11:7, 11:6), MUTTI - POLANSKY 3:2 (11:8, 11:1, 3:11, 9:11, 11:7), PINTO- MARTINKO 3:0 (11:5, 11:7, 11:8)