07 Feb 2017

The colour is unknown but medals await Slovenia in the Men’s Singles event at the Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championship the Russian city of Sochi.

On the early evening of Saturday 4th February, Darko Jorgic, the no.3 seed and Deni Kozul, whose journey had started two days earlier in the qualification stage of proceedings, booked semi-final places.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Deni Kozul accounted for fellow qualifier England’s Tom Jarvis in five games (11-3, 11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9) to reserve his penultimate round place in some style.

“We played against each other two years ago at the Croatian Open, so I was familiar with his game. From the beginning Jarvis could not receive my service well; he struggled. I won the three opening games easily but then Tom played better and that made me nervous. I lost the fourth game before I took the control again”, Deni Kozul after overcoming Tom Jarvis

Impressive from Deni Kozul, Darko Jorgic was even more impressive. He ended the hopes of Belgium’s Martin Allegro, also a player who had been required to compete in the initial group stage.

Imposing, Darko Jorgic won in four straight games (11-3, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6).

“We know each other very well. We have played against each other many times. The key point was my head. I saw myself as the winner, I knew I am going to beat him; his weak point was his backhand, so I attacked his backhand after my service”, Darko Jorgic after beating Martin Allegro

Two wins for Slovenia at the quarter-final stage; it was almost the same for Germany.

Qiu Dang beat fellow qualifier Poland’s Marek Badowski, by the very narrowest of margins (12-14, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9) to reserve his last four place.

“From the beginning Badowski tried to slow down the game. He was controlling it by forcing me to play his rhythm. I gave my best to adapt to it but that is why he stretched me to the full seven games. However, at the end I was mentally stronger for the finish and that prevailed”, Qiu Dang after accounting for Marek Badowski

Meanwhile, Kilian Ort, the no.5 seed, tested Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, the no.2 seed but an upset was not to be the outcome. Tomislav Pucar prevailed in six games (11-8, 13-15, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 12-10).

 “I never lost the match against him, but it is never easy to beat him at the same time”, Tomislav Pucar after defeating Kilian Ort.

At the semi-final stage, Deni Kozul meets Qiu Dang, Darko Jorgic opposes Tomislav Pucar; proceedings conclude on Sunday 5th February.

Day Three: Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championships
Photos: Alex Lomaev – Butterfly

Latest results: Stag European Under 21 Championships.

Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championships Darko Jorgic Tomislav Pucar Deni Kozul Qiu Dang