18 Jul 2018

Relatively untroubled across the opening three days of action at the Stag 2018 European Youth Championships but on the afternoon of Wednesday 18th July France experienced a severe test in the Junior Boys' Team quarter-finals with surprise package Azerbaijan pushing them right down to the wire.

by Simon Daish

Surely the standout player for the French team was Bastien Rembert, who came away from the tie with two wins: the first Azerbaijani competitor to fall victim to Rembert was Yang Xinyu (12-10, 11-8, 11-3) with Yu Khinhang suffering the same fate later in the match (11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7).

Irvin Bertrand then stepped up to the task in the match decider, defeating Yang Xinyu by three games to nil (11-9, 11-5, 11-4) to send France through to the semi-finals at Azerbaijan’s expense.

Responsible for a dramatic full distance thriller on day three in Cluj-Napoca but in the quarter-finals Greece ended up on the wrong side of a 3-2 outcome despite a receiving a brace of wins via Ioannis Sgouropolous as Germany progressed to the last four.

Kay Stumper set defending Champions Germany on the right path with a four games win against Ioannis Damianis (3-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6) before teammates Cedric Meissner and Fanbo Meng earned respective victories over Michail Diamantopoulos (11-5, 9-11, 11-3, 11-0) and Ioannis Damianis (11-6, 11-6, 12-10).

The Russian line-up of Lev Katsman, Vladimir Sidorenko and Maksim Grebnev held off a brave challenge from Italy, emerging with a 3-1 victory while Romania prevailed by the same score against Belgium.

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2018 STAG European Youth Championships Ioannis Sgouropoulos Bastien Rembert Kay Stumper

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