by Simon Daish
Sweden came away with its third straight victory in Group D of the Junior Boys’ Team competition, beating Spain in the afternoon session of play. Martin Friis got Sweden off to a strong start, inflicting a four games defeat upon Francisco Miguel Ruiz (11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-4). Two wins for Truls Moregard against Javier Soria (11-9, 11-6, 11-9) and Francisco Miguel Ruiz (13-11, 11-6, 11-3) proved enough to see Sweden top the group ahead of Italy.
The two teams to advance from Group C were last year’s finallists, Russia and Germany following their respective successes against the Czech Republic and Hungary. However, despite the end score-line of 3-0 it wasn’t all plain sailing for the German side: both Cedric Meissner and Kay Stumper required the full match distance to beat Hungarian opponents Patrik Juhasz (11-2, 8-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-3) and Oliver Both (9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9).
Artur Grela played a highly important role for his country with his brace helping Poland to a narrow 3-2 victory over the Slovak Republic in Group A with Romania taking first position. The French line-up of Leo De Nodrest, Lilian Bardet and Jules Rolland proved too strong for final Group B opponents Croatia while Belgium picked up a valuable 3-2 win over Greece to claim the runner up spot.
Out of the four top seeded teams competing in the Junior Girls’ Team category only Serbia finished as a group winner. Taking on Turkey in the final round of Group B fixtures Serbia established an early advantage courtesy of Sabina Surjan, who prevailed against Betul Nur Kahraman (11-8, 11-7, 11-7). Andjela Menger and Tijana Jokic held off Ozge Yilmaz (10-12, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 13-11) and Ece Harac (11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10) to seal a 3-0 victory for Serbia.
Romania recovered from a disappointing opening day at the office by posting a vital win over Spain: Tania Plaian, Andreea Dragoman and Andreea Hudusan all played their part as the hosts registered a positive 3-0 outcome, a result which ultimately sent Romania through with Germany experiencing defeat at the hands of France.
Top spot in Group C has been secured by Poland with Anna Wegrzyn winning both of her matches against group runners up Slovenia while Azerbaijan and Russia move through from Group A.