by Simon Daish
Starting the day off with a fine 3-0 win against the Slovak Republic, Romania went to collect two further group stage points as opponents Poland fell to a 3-1 defeat to the host nation.
Rares Sipos got the ball rolling for Romania with a calm display in the opening encounter with Samuel Kulczycki (11-9, 11-5, 11-8) before a dramatic comeback effort from Cristian Pletea against Artur Grela (10-12, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5) resulted in a 2-0 lead for the local favourites.
There was a response from Poland courtesy of Jan Zandecki, who accounted for Dragos Florin Opera across five games (10-12, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9) but Cristian Pletea’s victory over Samuel Kulczycki in the fourth fixture (11-4, 11-8, 11-4) ended any hope of a Polish comeback.
The second round of Group C encounters hosted a repeat of last year’s Junior Boys’ Team final between Germany and Russia, however, on this occasion the result favoured the latter side.
Lev Katsman put Russia ahead early, prevailing over Cedric Meissner in straight games (11-8, 11-7, 13-11). Two wins for Vladimir Sidorenko, against Fanbo Meng (18-16, 12-14, 13-11, 3-11, 11-8) and Cedric Meissner (11-6, 11-9, 12-10), sealed the two group points for the 2017 silver medallists.