Russia showed better nerves in match for medal against SwedenPhoto: Rémy Gros
European Youth Championships in Ostrava
Close finishes and nerves wrecking duels marked the quarter final of the Junior Boys Team’s Event. Russia beat Sweden and Belgium prevailed against Poland in encounters which kept spectators at the edge of their seats. Azerbaijan had easier task, they prevailed against France in four matches, whilst Germany needed one less to beat Spain.
Surprisingly, Maksim GREBNEV opened the match against Sweden and accounted for Martin FRIIS. Vladimir SIDORENKO was next to face Truls MOREGARD. Truls leveled the match. Lev KATSMAN brought Russia into the lead once again with the victory over Jonatan MCDONALD. Truls beat GREBNEV, before SIDORENKO sealed Russia’s progress to the semis in straight games victory over FRIIS.
“I was very nervous, because I always play at A position. This time, coach decided to change it and to put me to B position. We all knew Truls will win both his matches and coach thought it was better for the team that I play decisive match. l He had confidence I will manage to win in case of five matches. The tension and pressure were high. There is a lot in stake here: the medal and the place at the World championships,” explained SIDORENKO.
In the decisive match Vladimir overcame Martin in three games to justified his coach trust.
“I was down 6-9 in opening game, but the whole atmosphere in the team helped me. The teammates were very supportive. Not only by cheering me while I was playing, but being for me with advices on time outs. I calmed down, started to play ball for ball, tried to put every on the table. Everything come to place at the end,” said SIDORENKO.
Azerbaijan’s YU Khinhang beat both Lilian BARDET and Vincent PICARD, whilst WANG Chenxi overcame Dorian ZHENG. PICARD scored one point for France in the duel against YANG Xinyu.
Germany overcame Spain in straight matches. Dominick JONAC beat Alberto LILO, Kay STUMPER added another victory to his 8-0 clear record in Ostrava and beat Miguel RUIZ, whilst Felix WETZEL beat Miguel NUNEZ.
“Our goal was to reach quarters and we already went one step further. I am very pleased with the performance of the whole team, especially by the game of Dominik who had first international match only five months ago. He won five games match, which gave stability to team to proceed easier,” said coach ZHAN Xiaoyng.
Belgium recovered from being two0 matches to null in reverse to win the duel against Poland. Maciej KUBIK and Samuel KULCZYCKI overcame Adrien RASSENFOSSE and Olav KOSOLOSKY, before Nicolas DEGROS changed the course of the match with the victory over Szymon KOLASA.
"During the match I didn´t feel the game so much, especially in the last set I was really nervous. Now I am incredible happy. We were so close to be defeated, we were 0-2 down and then in the third match we saved, maybe, seven match points. But even when the score was so much against us we kept fighting. In the last match against Maciej KUBIK I was 1-2 and 4-7 down, then I started to serve cleverer and I forced him to play how I wants. I took the control. Also in the last set I was little bit lucky, I am sorry for it, but it is table tennis," said Olav KOSOLOSKY.