22 Jul 2017

The penultimate day of the Stag 2017 European Youth Championships, Saturday 22nd July, produced plenty of drama for table tennis fans to enjoy as the Cadet Boys' Singles and Cadet Girls' Singles competitions reached the conclusion of the quarter-finals stage in the Portuguese city of Guimarães.

by Simon Daish

Samuel Kulczycki picked up arguably the standout result in the Cadet Boys’ Singles last eight, rising to the challenge to defeat the third seeded player Bilal Hamache of France.

Displaying an air of confidence throughout the match Polish competitor Samuel Kulczycki raced to a straight games victory over his French rival (11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9) to move into the semi-finals of the event.

“I played incredibly well. Hamache was not at the top of his game. So far it is best match that I have played in Portugal. I am so happy that I have won a medal here!”, Samuel Kulczycki.

Frantisek Onderka caused a big upset in the Round of 16 by eliminating the number five seed Csaba Andras of Hungary from the tournament, but the Czech player’s fine run was eventually brought to a close in the last eight after losing out to Sweden’s Truls Moregardh across five ends (7-11, 11-5, 4-11, 7-11, 7-11).

Russia will have two representatives in the semi-finals after Vladimir Sidorenko and Maksim Grebnev negotiated fixtures against Belgium’s Olav Kosolosky (11-8, 11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 11-3) and France’s Dorian Zheng (11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8) to book encounters with Samuel Kulczycki and Truls Moregardh respectively.

Over in the Cadet Girls’ Singles tournament there was a lively match in the top half of the quarter-finals draw, as Germany’s Anastasia Bondareva edged her way to a deciding game victory.

Trailing by two games to one in the early stages of the match Anastasia Bondareva found herself in a tricky position against Turkish opponent Ece Harac, but the German player began to grow into the tie and with three of the next four games going in her favour a place in the last four was secured (5-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-3, 12-10, 5-11, 11-8).

More pleasing news for Germany also came in the upper half of the draw as Wenna Tu successfully saw off the seventh seed Arina Slautina (11-9, 12-10, 4-11, 11-4, 11-9). With Wenna Tu facing Anastasia Bondareva in the last four, Germany’s presence in the final has been guaranteed.

Elizabet Abraamian registered a quarter-finals win for Russia following a positive outing against Prithika Pavade of France (7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 11-5), but the other Russian contestant competing in the lower half of the draw Natalia Malinina was left disappointed after suffering a 4-2 defeat to Romania’s Elena Zaharia (11-8, 11-2, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8).

“Since the start of the match I was very emotional. It was the first time that I played against her and my first medal here. I already had one in the team event but not in the singles”, Elena Zaharia.

Stag 2017 European Youth Championships: Results – Saturday 22nd July

2017 Stag European Youth Championships Truls Moregard Elena Zaharia Samuel Kulczycki Anastasia Bondareva

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