Easy day for Russia in Cadet Girls EventPhoto: Carlos FERREIRA
STAG 2017 European Youth Championships
The gold medalist from Zagreb, team of Russia easily prevailed against Spain in the opening round of the Cadet Girls Teams Event at the STAG 2017 European Youth Championships in Guimaraes. In the second round they beat Hungary to secure the leading position in Group A before tomorrow’s duel against Slovenia.
Ekaterina ZIROVA, Elizabet ABRAAMIAN won both singles, whilst Nataliya MALININA and Arina SLAUTINA won their doubles encounter. Against Hungary they also recorded 3:0 victory. Both Ekaterina ZIROVA and Elizabet ABRAAMIAN played in the singles and doubles matches. Spain beat Slovenia, whilst round earlier Hungary also prevailed against Slovenia.
Romania won bronze medal last year in Zagreb and they look in good shape this year, too. Elena -Adriana ZAHARIA was a driving force of the Romania’s success against Croatia in the opening round. She won her singles match against Zara ILIC and together with Luciana-Camelia MITROFAN recorded the victory over Hana ARAPOVIC and Hanna LONCAREVIC.
“I have the good feeling for the ball here; I play very good. In addition our team spirit is very high. We understand each other well. We were in the game 100 percent in each point,” said Elena -Adriana ZAHARIA who clinched bronze in the Team’s Event at the Poland open.
In the second match of the day they faced great difficulties against Ukraine. Luciana-Camelia MITROFAN lost the opening match against Anastasia DYMYTRENKO 2:3. Elena -Adriana ZAHARIA also lost the full distance match against Iolanta YEVTODIII, before the ZAHARIA and MITROFAN in the doubles turned the course of the match against the same adversaries they met in the singles.
Croatia beat Sweden, the team who also suffered against Ukraine in the opening round.
France, the leading team in Group B in Cadet Girls beat Belarus and Turkey. In first match Camille LUTZ of France gave her team one point and good start before Prithika PAVADE secured the victory with another win in singles and doubles.
“I do not play often against players with the defensive style. Today I had to play against defenders in both, singles and doubles match. Fortunately I felt good,” said Prithika PAVADE after the match against Belarus.
In Group B Turkey and Belarus both beat Poland.
In Group D, the leaders, Germany faced problem in the early stage of the match. Charlotte BARDSLEY beat Anastasia BONDAREVA in full distance match. Also in doubles favorites were stretched to full distance, before Sophia KLEE sealed the match with the victory over BARDSLEY. In next round they prevailed against Czech Republic in straight games.
“The body language of my team was very good and they stick to the tactics. We feel like small family. They won because they were very good on service, receive, first balls and they moved very good. Practically, we did not have the weak spot,” said Lara BROICH coach of the German team.
In the team for the second match Anastasia BONDAREVA was not on the list. Wenna TU, Sophia KLEE and Jana KIRNER were in the team.
England and Czech Republic beat Greece.
Titleholders in Cadet Boys Teams Event, team of Russia set the goals high by aiming to win all the titles. So far they are on a good way. In Group stage they overcame both adversaries on the opening day of the tournament.
They overcame Turkey and Italy, both by 3:0. Against Turkey Maksim GREBNEV and Vladimir SIDORENKO succeeded in their both singles and doubles. They showed same determination in the duel against Italy.
“It is the first day of the tournament and I am not in the best of shape. I still struggle to fell the ball well. I am not adjusted to new tables. I hope it will be much better from tomorrow. We came here with the desire to win everything we could,” said SIDORENKO.
In Group B France is unbeaten. They overcame Romania, before they inflicted the pain in the hart of the host nation supporters. They overcame the only Portugal’s team in top division.
Tiago LI gave a good start for the hosts with the victory over France’s no. one player Bilal HAMACHE after full five games match.
“At that point I wanted to beat LI even more. I was very motivated,” said Dorian ZHENG who overcame Goncalo GOMES, before he met LI in the fourth game. “At the start I was not very focused, so I needed some guidance from the coach. He told me to play in the middle and at the forehand, to beat LI. It worked until the fourth game. In that game I was 8:4 in the lead and LI managed to recover and to reach 9:8. Once again I needed to get the grip of the game. I came back to win 14:12.”
In the same group Spain beat Romania, after they lost against Portugal.
In Group C Hungary holds the top with two victories over Poland and Sweden. Both teams shares second position, whilst Denmark is at the bottom.
Belgium secured the top spot in Group D after victory over Germany and Croatia. Adrien RASSENFOSSE and Olav KOSOLOSKY showed no mercy against Croatia in the opening round, but they needed one match more to overcame Germany. Felix WETZEL of Germany scored against RASSENFOSSE.