(by Simon Daish)
Croatia took the spotlight on day two of the Cadet Girls’ Team event at the 2017 European Youth Championships in Guimarães, punching above its weight to secure the runners up spot in Group C on Saturday 15th July.
Hana Arapovic was the standout player for Croatia in the match against Ukraine, claiming victories over Iolanta Yevtodii (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 15-13) and Anastasiia Dymytrenko (11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8).
The combination of Hana Arapovic and Hanna Loncarevic proved too strong for Anna Miklukha and Anastasiia Dymytrenko (11-4, 11-6, 2-11, 12-10) as Croatia sealed second position in the group, and will join group winners Romania in the last 16.
There was yet more joy for France after the team finished its Group B campaign with maximum points.
Isa Cok registered positive results against Polish opponents Zuzanna Gaworska (11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10) and Elzbieta Kwiatkowska (11-6, 11-13, 11-4, 15-13), while French teammates Prithika Pavade and Camille Lutz edged to a fifth game triumph over Katarzyna Krolikowska and Kamila Gryko (11-6, 5-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5).
Turkey finished second in Group C following a 3-1 victory over Belarus on day two of the tournament.
Last year’s champion Russia looks ready to defend its Cadet Girls’ Team title, after finishing top of its group.
Russia gave yet another demonstration of its firepower with a 3-0 win against Slovenia, however, the eye-catching encounter of the group saw Hungary and Spain battle it out for second position in Group A.
The early advantage fell to Spain after Natalia Miramontes overcame Helga Dari across five ends (4-11, 13-11, 11-6, 8-11, 2-11), but a brace of victories for Anita Drabant over Emma Ruiz (16-14, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5) and Natalia Miramontes (11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 7-11, 11-4), alongside a good outcome for Hungary in the doubles fixture, condemned Spain to fourth position.
Linda Zaderova put in a strong showing for the Czech Republic as the team sealed its place in the top 16 by defeating England by a 3-1 scoreline. Germany moves through as Group D winners following its comfortable display against Greece.
Winners and runners up in the top tier groups automatically progress through to the Round of 16, while the third and fourth placed teams from the top tier groups will respectively face the second and first placed teams from the second tier groups in play-off matches to determine the remaining spots in the last 16.
Stag 2017 European Youth Championships: Results – Saturday 15th July
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