by Ian Marshall, Editor
Success last year, both players are well acquainted with European achievements.
Most significantly at the European Youth Championships Ioannis Sgouropoulos secured the junior boys’ singles title in 2017 in Guimarães before retaining the crown the following year in Cluj-Napoca.
Notable wins; for Adina Diaconu, the gold medal haul is even greater. Significantly, she won the cadet girls’ singles title in 2013 in Ostrava and the following year in Riva del Garda. Later she was the junior girls’ singles champion 2015 in Bratislava and in 2016 in Zagreb.
In Varazdin, somewhat surprisingly Ioannis Sgouropoulos stands at no.12 on the European Under 21 men’s rankings that apply to the tournament; rather different Adina Diaconu occupies top spot on the women’s list.
Frenchman Bastien Rembert reserves top spot on the men’s list. Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Rares Sipos are the respective second and third seeds, followed by Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko. Next in line to Adina Diaconu is Belgium’s Lisa Lung; Daria Trigolos from Belarus and Andreea Dragoman, also from Romania, complete the top four names.
Notably all have proven themselves worthy competitors in under 21 events at ITTF Challenge Series tournaments. Last year Bastien Rembert was the runner up in both Serbia and Slovenia, Cristian Pletea won in Nigeria. Similarly in 2019, Vladimir Sidorenko prevailed in Oman but the man in form is Rares Sipos; less than one month ago he won in Spain.
Similarly in 2019, Adina Diaconu was the under 21 women’s singles silver medallist in Spain, Andreea Dragoman beat Lisa Lung in the final in Nigeria. However, just as Rares Sipos has been in form this year, the situation applies also to Daria Trigolos. Last month she emerged the runner up in Portugal.
A total of 56 men and 56 women compete in Varazdin.