SGOUROPOULOS ,SIDORENKO, TAILAKOVA and GAUTHIER booked their places for Argentina
2018 Youth Olympic Games Continental Qualification – Europe in Split
At the end of the Day two at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games Continental Qualification – Europe in Split, four passengers already booked their visas for Buenos Aires. In Split, Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS of Greece and Vladimir SIDORENKO of Russia reached the final of the Boy’s Singles Event, whilst Mariia TAILAKOVA of Russia and Lucie GAUTHIER of France were the finalists of the Girls Event.
European Champion from Portugal earlier this summer SGOUROPOULOS had a very big challenge from the very first match of the day. No. two seed meet leading player in Croatia Cristian PLETEA of Romania in the opening round and prevailed in six games (5, 8, -9, 9, -11, 6). In second round he beat Maciej KOLODZIEJCZYK of Austria no. 7 seed, by same margin (-5, -6, 8, 4, 9, 5), before he overcame Truls MOREGARD OF Sweden seeded at position no. 4 in five games (11, 12, 9, -6, 10).
“I am very happy and I am looking forward my trip to Argentina. It will be first time for me and I will give my best to arrive there fully prepared,” said SGOUROPOULOS.
No. three seed SIDORENKO had less stressful start against Medardas STANKEVICIUS of Lithuania (8, 9, 7, 8). In second round he overcame Bastien REMBERT of France, no 5 seed (7, -6, 3, 7, 9) and then he eliminated the biggest upset of the event YU Khinhang of Azerbaijan (-5, 7, -7, 8, 8, 6).
“The feeling is great. It will be my first Youth Olympics. My coach had a crucial role here. He managed to motivated me the right way. It is all about what is in your head. Here, there are too many players and all of us have only one goal- to reach Argentina,” said SIDORENKO.
On her way to Argentina, GAUTHIER, no 7 seed eliminated top seeded NING Jing of Azerbaijan in second round (-3, -10, -8, 6, 14, 11, 11). She beat Katarina STRAZAR OF Slovenia (9, 3, 3, -15, -10, 3) and Andreea DRAGOMAN of Romania no three seed (5, -5, 8, 10, -5, 9).
“I am overwhelmed by this victory. The match against the Azerbaijan representative was the toughest of my life. Now, everything ends well and I am happy I will see Buenos Aires,” said Lucie.
No. two seed TAILAKOVA overcame Anna WEGRZYN of Poland (6, -7, 2, 5, 8), Jamila LAURENTI of Italy (-7, 2, 8, 6, -8, -9, 9) and Zdena BLASKOVA of Czech Republic.
“The pressure was very high. It is very difficult to play tournaments like this. I knew I could reach Olympics, it was my big dream,” said TAILAKOVA.