Leading names in Juniors Boys category safely concluded day one in Cluj NapocaPhoto: Rémy Gros
2018 STAG European Youth Championships
Top three seeds in Junior Boys Teams Event at the 2018 STAG European Youth Championships in Romania’s Cluj Napoca Romania, France and Russia concluded two opening games in the Polivalenta Cluj Sport Hall unbeaten.
All except Italy, favorite cruised through their opening matches in the Group stages. Romania beat Slovakia with both Rares SIPOS and Cristian PLETEA lost only one game against Stefan PEKO and Daniel ORAC. Dragos OPREA was EVEN en more convincing in straight games victory over Jakub ZELINKA. In next round, it was Poland who suffered by the hands of Romania. PLETEA won both his encounters, against Artur GRELA and JAN ZANDECKI, but GRELA put him under severe test, Poland’s player forced him to go full distance.
“It was a difficult game, we played against Poland often, but for this event they came with a new team that we didn't know what to expect. Now we are very happy that we managed to win. And we hope to deliver a good result in the match with Turkey tomorrow,” said PLETEA. “My first match was very important since I was losing, and I recovered to win it 3-2. For the team it was also important since it was 1:1 and it will be difficult to return in case of my defeat.”
France showed good performance against Belgium. Bastien REMBERT beat Olav KOSOLOSKY in full distance encounter, but Irvin BERTRAND and Lilian BARDET had much easier task. In the same group, Greece which heavily depends on Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS faced difficult task to beat Croatia. European champion recorded his two wins safely, but Dimitris STAMOU was the forced to resolve the match in decisive fifth game of the match against Jakov JAKELIC.
SGOUROPOULOS was not in Greek line up for for the match against France, which opened the door for France to seal the duel in fast three matches.
“He is all right, but left out for strategic reasons. We are saving him for closing stages,” said coach Konstantinos VATSAKILIS.
In Group C Russia beat Hungary and defending champions, team of Germany prevailed against Czech Republic.
“It was a good match, we were a little bit reserved at the beginning, but I think it is normal. We fought good. In the beginning of my match against Tomas MARTINKO I was not at the right track, I had some problems, but after I won the first set, I knew I will win the match,” said Kay STUMPER.
The duel of the second round between Germany and Russia went to the Russia’s account. They needed four matches to secure the victory. Vladimir SIDORENKO beat both Cedric MEISSNER and Fanbo MENG.
In Group D, leading team of Italy was 2 matches to one down against Spain. Francisko RUIZ beat Carlos ROSSI, but Matteo MUTTI beat both Alberto LILLO and RUIZ, before ROSI sealed the match against LILLO. They escaped narrowly, but in the second round Italy failed to repeat the success. Sweden booked top spot in the standings for tonight after another victory. In the opening match they overcame Slovenia.
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