European Youth Championships | 16 Jul 2014
French cadets ready for a next step
France won the title in Cadet Boys Team’s Event for a 7th time. The long list of success started in 1997 and after that, French boys were at the top spot of the medal rostrum in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. In Italian Riva del Garda they returned to
France won the title in Cadet Boys Team’s Event for a 7th time. The long list of success started in 1997 and after that, French boys were at the top spot of the medal rostrum in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. In Italian Riva del Garda they returned to the top. In the final Nolan GIVONE and Irvin BERTRAND overcame very dangerous team of Romania, with European no. one and two Cristian PLETEA and Rares SIPOS.
“It is not only their quality that makes them dangerous; Romania is famous of fighting spirit. It is never easy to beat them. Bad thing for us was our recent defeat at the Hungarian open, where we suffered in full five matches encounter. I advised players to stay calm, to be focused, because the pressure will be great,” explained coach of the cadet team Thierry PRIOU.
Nolan GIVONE opened the final match against PLETEA. He did exactly what coach said – stayed calm. PLETEA won two opening games, before GIVONE recovered to win the match. In the decisive match GIVONE beat SIPOS in straight games.
“He played at the high level and showed very mature approach,” said PRIOU. “In November GIVONE also beat PLETEA and lost against SIPOS so for the final in Italy I changed the draw.” France beat Germany in semis but one of the most challenging moments was the quarterfinal duel against Sweden.
“Simon SODERLUND played at the very high level. He will be also hard player to beat in the singles. BERTRAND could not beat him after five games.”
In Group stages France beat Denmark, Portugal and England without being seriously threatened. Occupying ranking positions no. 3 and 5 French boys are among main contenders for the title. Are they tired after Team’s Event? “That is completely new tournament now. We will forget what happened in team’s event. I am sure they are not tired. Boys are working 30 hours per week in cadets and mini cadets center Pole France in Nantes, and they are ready for this.”
Thierry PRIOU explained that the success came as a product of long-term strategy that was set 10 years ago. “It started with Michel GADAL. He is not involved any more, but the system still works. However this is only one step. Our aim is to create good, high ranked seniors. The medals at the Youth Championships only shows us are we are on a good way, but we have to justify it in senior category,” added Thierry PRIOU.