European Youth Championships | 16 Jul 2014
Golden girls are a new chapter for France
For a first time in history France clinched the title in the girls event. French Junior Girls beat Germany in the final of the 57th STERILGARDA European Youth Championships in Riva del Garda. Generally, a complete Western European final in the Junior Girl
For a first time in history France clinched the title in the girls event. French Junior Girls beat Germany in the final of the 57th STERILGARDA European Youth Championships in Riva del Garda. Generally, a complete Western European final in the Junior Girls Team’s Event is very rare; the last Western European country to win this title was Spain in 2004 and 2005, and the last Western European final was in 1997 when Italy beat France. Germany won the title twice, in 2000 and 2003. Coach Loic BELGUISE led the team with to the title. Laura PFEFER , Marie MIGOT, Pauline CHASSELIN, Audrey ZARIF and Oceane GUISNEL had very impressie journey to the ultimate stage.
“The hardest step was the semi final duel against Russia. That was the biggest challenge here. Then came the duel against Germany. The third match between Laura PFEFER and Chantal MANTZ was crucial. It was the first time that Laura beat her, and they played against each other six or seven times. We knew that MANTZ was injured for a while, but still, Laura was under pressure. Nina MITELLHAM is way above other girls, so we had to find the solution in the win against MANTZ. That is why I stared with Marie MIGOT at the front”, explained coach Loic BELGUISE.
Marie played lost against Nina, but overcame WAN Yuan. “It was not easy for her. She lost both encounters against Russia, played against MITTELHAM in final…But she overcame all that and with great support from the team, managed to record very important win against WAN.”
Speaking about the team spirit, coach Pascale BIBANT praised this generation. “Girls are great. They all want to play for sure, but when we make the draw they does not complain if they have to sit on the bnch. They cheer with whole heart their teammates.”
Semi final against Russia went to full distance. “We though Maria MALANINA will play, but then suddenly they were without her with completely mixed up draw,” stated BELGUISE.
BIBANT added;”It was hard, emotionaly difficult match, open until the last point. PFEFER was 2:0 up, then CHERNYAVSKAYA leveled, it was 7:7 in the decive game of the fifth match…Very hard.”
Beside MIGOT who spent a year in Japan, all the girls are gathered in INSEP. “We do not have big group, so juniors work with senior team. We also invited German team for preparation and we went to Dusseldorf. It works great for all of us. We have quality cadets and I think our female table tennis will improve even more.”