by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Safely through the group stage the previous day without a single individual game being surrendered; at the quarter-final stage the Russians recorded a three matches to nil win against the Brazilian combination of Guilherme Teodoro, Eduardo Tomoike and Rafael Torino, before the same margin of victory was posted in the penultimate round.
The combination formed by Lithuania’s Medardas Stankevicius, who lined up alongside Frenchmen Jules Cavaille and Bilal Hamache found the Russian trio in irresistible form.
A place in the final booked, the host nation’s Javier Soria, Francisco Miguel Ruiz and Alberto Lillo awaited; a three-one victory margin was the verdict. Vladimir Sidorenko beat both Javier Soria (11-8, 11-8, 11-8) and Francisco Miguel Ruiz (11-4, 11-7, 14-12); Lev Katsman added the one further win by overcoming Francisco Miguel Ruiz (11-8, 11-5, 11-7). The win for Spain was recorded by Alberto Lillo; in the third match of the fixture he accounted for Maksim Grebnev (11-9, 2-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7).
Early at the quarter-final stage, the Spanish trio had beaten the Turkish outfit comprising Tugay Yilmaz, Bilal Selim Tok and Umut Emre Bassan by three matches to nil, prior to being stretched the full five match distance by Portugal’s Tiago Li, Vitor Amorin and José Pedro Francisco. The player to cause the Spaniards problems was Tiago Li; he beat both Javier Soria (11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5) and Francisco Miguel Ruiz (11-7, 11-4, 7-11, 11-8).
The second step of the podium for Spain in the Junior Boys’ Team event; in the counterpart Cadet Boys’ Team competition, in the guise of Arnau Pons and Iker Gonzalez, it was the top step.
At the quarter-final stage they beat Slovakia’s Filip Delincak and Jakub Goldir by three matches to two, before recording a three-one semi-final win against Ethan Claude and Myshaa Sabhi to reserve a place in the final. Hard fought matches, it was the same in the final, a second three matches to one win was the order of proceedings in opposition to the Croatian trio of Ivor Ban, Filip Borovnjak and Lovro Zovko.
In the opposite half of the draw, the Croatians had beaten the German ‘A’ duo of Mike Hollo and Hannes Hoermann, before overcoming Italy’s Simone Sofia and Andrea Puppo to reserve a place in the final. Notably both fixtures needed the full five matches to determine the outcome.
Play concludes on Sunday 13th May with the individual events in the cadet age group.