France is back on golden trackPhoto: Rémy Gros
2018 STAG European Youth Championships
In 2015 in Bratislava France clinched the gold medal in Junior Teams Event. The two years’ drought is over and at the 2018 STAG European Youth Championships French team celebrated the title again in Cluj Napoca. They overcame Russia in the final and showed once again fantastic team spirit.
“We have a young team, but they proved they have very strong team spirit. They never gave up. We were down against Azerbaijan 1:2 in the quarterfinal, but Bastien REMBERT and Irvin BERTRAND recovered to win. In addition, in team of Russia, in the final LEV KATSMAN exceeded the expectations and showed powerful performance which gave Russia dream start. Despite all that difficulties we succeeded,” said coach David JOHNSTON.
Irvin BERTRAND beat Vladimir SIDORENKO and Bastien REMBERT as well. Leo DE NODREST also get the chance to play in the ultimate stage and he beat Maksim GREBNEV.
“We do not have extraordinary individuals as Cristian PLETEA, Truls MOREGARD or Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS are, but we have very good leveled team. All, these boys can step up into the match and play. That is what I have told them, to be ready at any moment. The problem is that all main European players have the experience of playing at the top level senior events, whilst we do not have chance. It is partly due the reason that I noted previously: we have too many players at the same level of quality. Par example this was Bastien’s first final at Europeans Championships” said JOHNSTON and added that Bastioen booked hos place for the Olympic Youth Games in Buenos Aires.
France had been missing the medal rostrum for two years after seven titles in eight Championships.
“We were little unlucky in 2016 and 2017. In Zagreb Alexandre CASSIN won the title in singles, but he had accident in Teams event. Last year Team of England beat us in the group stages and after, we were unlucky with the draw and played against Romania. These are just details that makes the whole picture. Finally, we worked hard and put all the pieces of that mosaic together and clinched the gold in Cluj Napoca.”
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