SGOUROPOULOS in pursuit for new title in Cluj Napoca
2018 STAG European Youth Championships
Gold medal winner of the Junior Singles Event at the European Championship in Guimarães 2017 Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS goes to Cluj Napoca with high hopes to defend his title. The 18 - years old player, theoretically, has better chances for such acheivement comparing last July, as he is number 2 at the July’s ETTU rankings. However the no. one is Rares SIPOS the host nation representative at the 2018 STAG European Youth Championships, so he is facing very tough task again.
Not only in singles SGOUROPOULOS is favorite in doubles and mixed doubles; he will play with Vladimir SIDORENKO of Russia and Nadezhda BOGDANOVA of Belarus.
The 1st place in last year's event was the historic milestone for Greek table tennis. SGOUROPOULOS dreams of going further with a second consecutive final and, why not, another title! On his bench will be the national coach Kostas VATSAKLIS.
“The fact that I am the European champion makes me nerveus, but I guess it is normal. I am, however, in a very good shape concerning both, competing and in physical condition. Of course it would be great to have similar success as it was in Guimaraes, but I prefer not to talk about it now. I only want to produce good performances and to bring good results in each match”, said SGOUROPOULOS'S about the new challenge and added: “In the double with SIDORENKO I think we can have a place at the medal rostrum. I am equaly optimistic for the mixed doubles.”
From the early years SGOUROPOULOS showed his class and his progress was not a surprise at all. In September he captured the silver medal in European Youth Top 10. In the final match he was defeated by Κristian PLETEA. The Romanian winner of Top 10 was his adversary in the final of European Championship 2017. In November 2018 SGOUROPOULOS secured his palace at the Youth Olympic Games 2018 and in March 2018 he reached the quarter-finals of the singles and doubles events with Vladimir SIDORENKO at the European Under 21Championships.
He becomes World’s no. 4 at Under 18 rankings this July and that is the best position ever for the Greek player. In 2003 Kalinios KREANGA was at the position no. 7.
On his first year in the Swedish League, Ioannis made a good impression in Record. He recorded the win over Mattias KARLSON. Then he moved from Record to Eslovs, a country's top team. In the season 2018-2019 will have the opportunity to play in Champions League.
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