by Simon Daish
Ekaterina Zironova and Elizabet Abraamian were in fine form for Russia in the Cadet Girls’ Team tournament, as the duo guided the team to a 3-0 victory over semi-final opponents Turkey.
The match got off to a perfect start for the Russian team as Ekaterina Zironova came out on top in her encounter with Ece Harac (11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10).
There was more good news on the horizon for the defending champions as Elizabet Abraamian extended the team’s advantage following a tremendous comeback effort against Ozge Yilmaz (3-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5). Ekaterina Zironova and Elizabet Abraamian then combined to see off Ece Harac and Ozge Yilmaz in the doubles (11-6, 11-4, 11-7).
“The way I feel in Portugal is great. I’m feeling the ball and I’m moving well. We came here to win the gold and I am positive we will achieve that goal”, Ekaterina Zironova.
Awaiting Russia in the final is France, after Prithika Pavade and Camille Lutz edged out Belarus in the other semi-finals encounter.
Prithika Pavade helped the French team to an early lead in the match beating Ulyana Aklhouskaya across four games (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 16-14) prior to a brace from Camille Lutz, who not only prevailed against Darya Kisel (11-4, 11-8, 11-9) but also went on to overcome Ulyana Aklhouskaya (4-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4) to condemn Belgium to a 3-2 defeat.
France has also booked its spot in the Cadet Boys’ Team competition final, after putting in a powerful display against Hungary.
Bilal Hamache gave France the early lead in the semi-finals tie, edging to a tight win against Csaba Andras (6-11, 11-3, 12-10, 3-11, 11-9) while Dorian Zheng proved too strong for Oliver Both in the following encounter (11-3, 11-7, 11-6).
Victory for France was then sealed as Jules Cavaille and Myshaal Sabhi fought their way to a 3-2 win against Csaba Andras and Oliver Both (12-10, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7).
“I am playing great table tennis here. In my matches, I feel that my forehand is strong and my receive of service is very good. I had some difficulties at the beginning, but I adjusted the way I placed the ball at the table”, Bilal Hamache.
Russia’s success in the Cadet Girls’ Team semi-finals was replicated in the Cadet Boys’ Team semi-finals, following a positive outcome against Belgium in the last four.
Maksim Grebnev beat Olav Kosolosky in the opening fixture of the match (17-15, 11-7, 11-7) before Vladimir Sidorenko increased Russia’s lead with a straight games triumph over Adrien Rassenfosse (11-7, 11-4, 11-8).
The win was then guaranteed with a doubles victory for Maksim Grebnev and Vladimir Sidorenko, who successfully partnered up to defeat Olav Kosolosky and Adrien Rassenfosse (12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6) to send Russia through to the title match.
Stag 2017 European Youth Championships: Results – Monday 17th July