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29/07/2017 21:56
Italy seal historic double gold at 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival
2017 European Youth Olympic Festival

Győr, Hungary, July 29, 2017. Italy celebrated a historic double gold medal on the final day of Volleyball competition at the 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival in Győr, Hungary. The Azzurrine beat Belarus 3-2 in a dramatic final of the women’s tournament as their compatriots triumphed with gold in the men’s tournament after beating France 3-1 in the ‘grand finale’ of their event. Italy’s accomplishment is truly unprecedented in the history of the European Youth Olympic Festival – no other country has been able to achieve this feat since 2009, i.e. ever since both women’s and men’s Volleyball competitions feature on the EYOF programme.  

The women’s final was a truly dramatic match with Italy eventually prevailing 3-2 (27-25, 24-26, 25-22, 19-25, 15-10) over Belarus to secure the gold medals. “It was a truly difficult match but we could show something more than our opponents did. Our team chemistry worked just fine; we are friends off the court and we always can count on each other when taking to court as well,” said Linda Mangani. “We caught a very good start to the match but Belarus fought back in the second set. We won the third set, they won the fourth, and this shows that we all wanted this gold medal so badly. I am so happy and relieved now,” added her teammate Fatim Yassimina Kone.

Russia settled for the bronze medal after beating Serbia 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-16), thus avenging the loss they had suffered in the pool phase of the tournament. “We won and it feels amazing even though we wanted to play in the big final and compete for first and second place. The key toward winning this match was that we served really well. We are extremely happy with this bronze medal,” said Russia team captain Polina Shemanova.

Germany finished the competition in fifth place after a hard-fought 3-2 victory (20-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 15-8) over Slovenia. “From the very beginning of the match we tried to do our best but we could feel that physically the team is really tired. We supported each other and the sub-in players gave us even more strength and energy. At the end, we managed to play as a team and to achieve this victory,” said Germany player Elisabeth Kettenbach. Hosts Hungary ended their campaign in seventh place since the Netherlands had withdrawn from the tournament earlier this week due to a virus.



In the men’s tournament, Italy made amends for their 0-3 loss in the pool phase to beat France 3-1 (25-21, 26-24, 16-25, 25-21) and claim the second gold medal of the day for their country. “I think that today we played a great match. France was a brilliant opponent, but we wanted to win so badly that we did our best and we eventually made it happen,” said Italy Lorenzo Sperotto. “France has a strong team, and they play great Volleyball. Our serve and reception were key towards this victory,” added Diego Cantagalli.

Russia settled for the bronze medal also in the men’s tournament after routing reigning U19 European champions Czech Republic in three sets (25-16, 25-15, 25-14). “Yesterday we lost the semi-final against Italy 2-3. However, we took an extra bit of motivation from that loss and we came back stronger today and fought as much as we could against the Czech Republic. We showed that we are not just a team; we are a great team,” said Russia rising star Pavel Tetyukhin.

Turkey finished the tournament in fifth place after beating Belgium 3-2 (20-25, 25-21, 25-17, 18-25, 15-11). “In the first set we did not play that well, but our performance just got better and better as the match progressed. We take positives and much experience from this tournament and now we can prepare for the next one. We are happy now, but we know that we could have played better from the beginning of the week,” said Turkey team captain Adis Lagumdzija.

Poland opened the programme of the last competition day in Győr with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-17) dismantle of hosts Hungary to settle for seventh place. “We made a lot of mistakes today. Fortunately, Hungary could not use our failures to fight back. I think our performance was quite bad, but it was enough to win. We will definitely further develop by learning from this experience,” said Poland Remigiusz Kapica.

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News nr. 1 of 5
28/07/2017 21:57:00
Italy vie for double gold at European Youth Olympic Festival

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