Romania defended their crownPhoto: Robert Valai
European Youth Championships
Crowned European champions in the Slovakia’s city of Bratislava last July, team of Romania defended their title in the Junior Girls Teams Event at the European Youth Championships in Zagreb. In the final they beat team of Serbia. Serbia came from the second division.
Russia and Spain reached the third step at the medal rostrum. Russia repeated their last year’s success by clinching the bronze medal, whilst Spain improved their status. Last year at the European Youth Championships in Slovakia they were only 14th .
Europe no. one player Adina DIACONU could not settle into the rhythm against Izabela LUPULESKU in two opening games of the contest. Any hint of passive approach LUPULESKU punished immediately. However, a close third game, started with Adina’s advantage. Romania’s player had two game balls before LUPULESKU leveled, to try to finish the match. Adina stayed calm to underline her status and gained her way back to the match. Keeping the same pace she won next two games.
“In two opening game I could not feel my arms. I was numb. After 2:0, I realized I have to won that game. I was sure I will win the match if I stop LUPULESKU at that point,” said Adina.
Andreea DRAGOMAN was under pressure in the match against Dragana VIGNJEVIC only in the opening stages of the match. Afterwards the contest went in only one direction. DRAGOMAN dominated.
“After Adina’s win I was motivated. I felt good and confident. It gave us extra bust.”
Andreea CLAPA was in driving seat heading in full speed to the victory in the match against Tijana JOKIC, but after opening game Serbia’s player strikes back. She could not repeat it, so once again after third game Andreea was in the lead.
“I would like to congratulate my team and worthy opponents, team of Serbia. I was under pressure because I lost in three previous matches against JOKIC.”
Romania clinched titles in Junior Girls Event 11 times before (1956, 1958, 1959, 1987, 1994, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015). Serbia never won gold, but former Yougoslavia girls were at the top of the medal rostrum twice (1975,1988)
Romania – Serbia 3:0
Adina DIACONU – Izabela LUPULESKU 3:2 (6:11, 8:11, 14:12, 11:6, 11:3), Andreea DRAGOMAN – Dragana VIGNJEVIC (10:12, 11:3, 11:5), Andreea CLAPA – Tijana JOKIC 3:0 (11:6, 3:11, 11:8, 11:2 )