07 Mar 2019

The winner one year ago in Minsk, the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky, currently listed at no.60 on the under 21 men’s world rankings and thus required to compete in the first stage of proceedings, made the ideal start in his quest to retain the hard earned title at the Butterfly 2019 Under 21 European Championships in Gondomar, Portugal.

On the opening day of play, Thursday 7th March, he finished in first position in his group, without being extended the full seven games distance but not without difficult moments.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In his opening contest he was extended to six games by Hungary’s Patrik Juhasz (11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 8-11, 14-12), before in straight games accounting for Austria’s Thomas Grininger (11-4, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4) and Romania’s Alexandru Manole (11-6, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8).

Defeat for Thomas Grininger, listed at no.39 on the current under 21 men’s world rankings and thus the highest rated player in the group but it was elimination. Alas for the Austrian there was to be no progress to stage two. In addition he suffered at the hands of Alexandru Manole (11-6, 11-4, 11-8, 2-11, 9-11, 13-15, 11-5).

Players finishing in first and second places in each of the 12 groups advanced; thus Tomas Polansky and Alexandru Manole progressed.

According to ranking a somewhat unexpected first place for Tomas Polansky; it was the same for Poland’s Maciel Kubik, Lithuania’s Medardas Stankievicius and Italy’s Antonino Amato, as it was for Belgium’s Laurens Devos and Moldova’s Vladislav Ursu.

Maciek Kubik finished ahead of Ioannis Sgouropoulos of Greece and Germany’s Nils Hohmeier, at no.23 on the under 21 men’s world rankings, the highest listed player in the first stage.

In a similar manner, Antonino Amato secured top spot; Israel’s Mathan Simon finished in second place with Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejzyk and Slovakia’s Tibor Spanik being the next in line. Tibor Spanik commenced matters as the highest ranked in the group, he is listed at no.44.

Meanwhile, for Medardas Stankievicius it was first place ahead of the group top name, Belgium’s Thibaut Darcis. He ended the day in second spot. It was the same for Laurens Devos and Vladimir Ursu. Laurens Devos finished ahead of Germany’s Gerritt Engemann, Vladislav Ursu on place higher than Sweden’s Simon Soderlund.

Surprises, not in the remaining groups, it was first positions as predicted. Moldova’s Andrei Putuntica, Poland’s Tomasz Kotowski and Luxembourg’s Luka Mladenovic all reserved first places as did the Russian trio comprising Denis Ivonin, Vladimir Sidorenko and Artur Abusev.

2019 Butterfly Europe Under 21 Championships Tomas Polansky

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