European Championships | 18 Sep 2022

Ece HARAC and Ozge YILMAZ rewrites the history books

The winners of the Women's Doubles Event at the European Under 21 Championships in Cluj are Ece HARAC and Ozge YILMAZ of Turkiye. For a first time in a 6 years old history of European Under 21 Championships, title holders managed to retain their title in any event at this Championships.

In the final, Turkiye's pairings overcame Nicole ARLIA and Gaia MONFARDINI of Italy.The bronze medalists are Anna BRZYSKA and Zuzanna WIELGOS of Poland and Camille LUTZ and Prithika PAVADE of France.

Ece HARAC and Ozge YILMAZ were in fast line in the final against Nicole ARLIA and Gaia MONFARDINI (8, 4, 9).

“It was a great match. Despite the final score 3-0 it was not an easy one. From the very begining of the match we were focused to win the gold medal. Compared to our play of the last year in Spa, I strongly believe that the level of our play was higher. We have a better communication and a better understanding of each other during the matches,” said HARAC.

Speaking of their way to the final hurdle HARAC said:

“I must say that at the Under 21 European Championships in Cluj Napoca, our start was very difficult. I remember that we were down 0-2 when we played our first match here against Malamatenia PAPADIMITRIOU and Dari HELGA but we managed somehow to win it. The quality of our play went up, match after match and here we are. We are playing doubles together for five or six years. In 2016 at Youth European Championships we wont bronze at cadets. After 2016 we also won some other medal. But here we are now – finally we won gold.

Ozge YILMAZ added:

“During today's match we were less stressful compared to the last year final when we were down 2-0 but we managed to win 3-2. This year we started our match very calm and felt highly motivated. And we won. This is absolutely amazing!”

For Italy it is the first medal in women's Event at Under 21 Championships, but for family MONFARDINI is not the first at Europeans. Gaia is following the footsteps of her mother, who won two silver and two bronze medals in the European Championships in Women's Doubles.