Development | 7 Apr 2024

EYS Loutraki: Poland and Romania shared the gold medals in the individual events

Poland and Romania won three gold medals each in the individual events at the Europe Youth Series tournament in Loutraki. Another outstanding event, which was a success in terms of organization, garnered a significant response from foreign countries, impressed by the high level of the athletes, and ultimately made its mark in history with a significantly better result than the corresponding event in 2023. It brought together 68 young players from 8 countries.

The trophies in the individual event were claimed by Kacper PERKOWSKI and Katarzyna RAJKOWSKA from Poland in the Under 15 age categories, and Alexandru POP and Maya Roberta MADAR from Romania in the Under 13 categories. Both countries also secured one gold medal each in the mixed doubles. The winners in the Under 15 category were Kacper PERKOWSKI / Maja LAKOMA from Poland, and in the Under 13 category, Alexandru POP / Kariss Yasmin SERBAN from Romania. Alongside the team event in the boys' U15 and U13 categories, PERKOWSKI and POP each won three gold medals.

The president of the Greek federation, Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU, referred to the success of the 2nd Greek Open and announced that the country will request to organize a tournament in the Europe Youth Series next season. "This year, the tournament went much better than last year, and the feedback we received indicates that everyone was happy. We stated last October that we would continue year after year so that Europeans could learn from us, and we could learn from the event. That is precisely what has happened now. With more participants, better organization, and smoother proceedings, our goal is to establish this tournament at this time of the year. We haven't yet informed the ETTU, as they haven't opened the call for interest to the countries, but we will definitely seek to host the Europe Youth Tournament again," said the president of HTTF.

Istvan GYORGY, one of the three coaches of Romania in Loutraki, added a few words to ETTU about Romania's successes today: "Yes indeed, we performed better in the individual events than in the team events. We competed in three finals with our teams, winning one of them in the boys' Under 13 category, and losing to Poland in the others. Despite this, we were not dissatisfied, as the Poles are consistently strong opponents, and it's significant when we win. In the individual events, we performed very well, losing only in one final in the girls' Under 15."

In response to a question about POP coming from 0-2 down in sets, he pointed out: "All the Romanian athletes are very strong in the psychological aspect. Also, they understand very well what we want; POP and TORO even train together. What Pop achieved was very difficult, but he understood perfectly what we asked him to do tactically and turned the situation around."

In the boys' Under 15 category, the first two players from Poland, Kacper PERKOWSKI and Jan MRUGALA, reached the final. The top seed performed better than MRUGALA (No 8), utilizing good tactics and securing victory with a 3-0 set score (11-9, 12-10, 11-6). English Kacper PIWOWAR and Polish Mateusz GAWLAS claimed third place.

In the girls' Under 15 final, the top two favorites faced each other. Katarzyna RAJKOWSKA from Poland emerged victorious, defeating Romania's Andreea BAIASU 3-0 in sets (11-5, 11-6, 11-9). In the boys' Under 13 final, Romania's Alexandru POP (No. 1 in the category) staged a remarkable comeback from 0-2 down in sets to win against Poland's Hubert KWIECINSKI (No. 4) in a thrilling 3-2 set match. Romanian David TORO and Croatian Nikola JURIC claimed bronze medals.

In the girls' Under 13 category, Maya Roberta MADAR from Romania, the third favorite, faced a tough challenge but emerged victorious, winning 3-1 in sets against Poland's Lena PUZIO. In the mixed doubles, both Poland and Romania secured one first-place finish each, with three pairs from Poland and one from Romania reaching the finals. In the Under 15 category, the Polish pair Kacper PERKOWSKI / Maja LAKOMA claimed victory, while in the Under 13 category, Romania's Alexandru POP / Kariss Yasmin SERBAN secured gold. David TORO / Maya Roberta MADAR from Romania, and Mihai IORDAN / Maria Alexandra STOIAN also from Romania, reached third place.