European Youth Championships

Russia tested, imposing performances secure final places

Comprehensive performances on Tuesday 20th July by France and Poland secured places in the junior boys’ team final at the Gazprom 2021 European Youth Championships in Varazdin, Croatia.

Similarly, Romania progressed to the junior girls’ team final in style; however, for Russia, their opponents who await in the gold medal contest, life was more exacting.

The top seeds, fielding the trio comprising Elizabet Abraamian, Luibov Tentser and Natalia Malinina, a 3-0 quarter-final success was posted against the third seeds, the German outfit formed by Sophia Klee, Anastasia Bondareva and Naomi Pranjkovic. The reason for the earlier than anticipated clash being that Germany had finished in third position in their initial phase group.

An imposing win, facing the French trio formed by Isa Cok, Camille Lutz and Charlotte Lutz, life was very different; the Russian outfit needed the full five matches to ensure victory.

Star of the show was Elizabet Abraamian, the heroine was Liubov Tentser. Elizabet Abraamian accounted for both Isa Cok (11-7, 12-10, 11-8) and Camille Lutz (11-5, 11-8, 11-4); in the vital fifth match of the engagement, Liubov Tentser overcame Isa Cok (11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7).

Rather differently, Romania, the second seeds, marched to the final without due alarm. Selecting Ioana Singeorzan, Elena Zaharia and Luciana Motrofan status was justified.

A 3-1 quarter-final win was recorded against Hungary’s Helga Dari, Anna Fejos and Anna Volentics, before with no changes to the selection, a 3-0 success was secured in opposition to Turkey’s Ozge Yilmaz, Ece Harac and Zeynep Karaca.

Mainstay of the victory against Hungary was Elena Zaharia. She beat both Anna Fejos (11-5, 11-6, 11-8) and Helga Dari (11-8, 11-7, 11-1).

Impressive from Russia and Romania, in the junior boys’ team event it was even more impressive from France and Poland; both outfits recorded 3-0 wins at the quarter and semi-final stages.

No changes to team selection, France, represented by Alexis Lebrun, Thibault Poret and Alexis Kourachi beat the Swedish trio formed by Hugo Torngren, Martin Friis and Daniel Lindso, prior to reserving their place in the final courtesy of success in opposition Miguel Nuñez, Juan Perez and Marc Gutierrez.

Likewise, the fourth seeds, Poland’s Samuel Kulczycki, Maciej Kubik and Milosz Redzimski offered no charity.

They accounted for the third seeds, Germany’s Kay Stumper, Daniel Rinderer and Hannes Hoermann prior to overcoming the Romanian formation of Eduard Ionescu, Darius Movileanu and Andrei Teodor Istrate.

A semi-final defeat for the Romanians but they could be more than satisfied with their efforts; they started the tournament as a level two team. At the quarter-final stage the recorded a 3-1 win when facing Italy’s Marco Cappucio, Andrea Puppo and John Oyebode.

The final and play-off fixtures will be conducted today.

Junior boys’ team

Quarter-final: Spain 3-2 Croatia; France 3-0 Sweden; Poland 3-0 Germany; Romania 3-1 Italy

Semi-final: France 3-0 Spain; Poland 3-0 Romania

Junior girls’ team

Quarter-final: Russia 3-0 Germany; France 3-0 Italy; Turkey 3-1 Poland; Romania 3-1 Hungary

Semi-final: Romania 3-2 France; Romania 3-0 Turkey