Russia clinched three titles in big stylePhoto: Carlos FERREIRA
60th STAG 2017 European Youth Championships
For a first time in the history Russia clinched three titles in the Team’s Events at the 60th STAG 2017 European Youth Championships. Last time when the same country won three crowns was in 2014 and it was France. In 1976 that record was surprised, but then Soviet Union was complete. In Guimaraes Russia’s Junior Girls, Cadet Girls and Boys won gold, whilst Junior Boys reached the final.
Coach Sergei BRUZIN who led Cadet Girls helped his team won 9 gold medals, and this gold was third in the row. In his treasury BRUZIN has 20 medals at the European Youth Championships. He has experience of 23 EYC.
“We have to thank for our latest successes to Igor LEVITIN, Chairman of Supervisory Board of the Table Tennis Federation of Russia. He improved the development of table tennis by investing in programs and sport centers in many towns in Russia,» explained BRUZIN.
In Junior Girls final Russia overcame Romania. It was the team who reigned in past two editions of the Championships, led by the singles champion Adina DIACONU.
“It was amazing win for Anastasia KOLISH. No one thought it is possible to overcame DIACONU. She proved her maturity after DIACONU recovered from 0:2 to level the match. Anastasia did not give up. She stayed focused and gave Russia good start,” explained coach Sergei BRUZIN.
Mariia TAILAKOVA was also starched to full distance against Andreea DRAGOMAN, whilst Kristina KAZANTSEVA sealed the victory with 3:2 win over Tania PLAIAN.
“Mariia was 2:0 down, but she was in that situation many times on the tournament. She has enough stability in her mind to overcame slower start and to make points in crucial moments and tight finishes. Also Kristina, despite her very nervous start, managed to calm down and to finish the duel in the big style. I think that speaks a lot about the Russia’s team spirit. “
Junior Boys lost against Germany.
“Everything was clear after Denis IVONIN lost against Gerrit ENGEMANN. It opened the door for Germany’s well deserved success,” said BRUZIN.
In cadet girls final Russia beat France.
“Elizabet ABRAAMIAN proved she is very strong. She was opening game down, but beat Prithika PAVADE. Ekaterina ZIRONOVA then lost against Camille LUTZ after she had three match balls in decisive game. However, they showed good mentality and won doubles. ZIRONOVA was upset, but eventually she controlled her emotions and won 3:0 against Prithika PAVADE.
Cadet boys Vladimir SIDORENKO and Maksim GREBNEV beat France in the final, but coach pointed that crucial match was for the medal against Poland.
“They were under big pressure. They had to play decisive match and in that one GREBNEV showed brave performance. He was 1:2 down, had 10:5, then KUBIK recovered to level at 10:10, but Maksim returned to game and won two points for fifth set. Then he prevailed without problems.”