European girls sweep all medals at U20 Beach World Champs
News from the FIVB
Umag, Croatia, June 23, 2013. The 2012 U18 and U20 European champions Katarzyna Kociolek and Jagoda Gruszczynska (pictured) claimed the U21 world title Sunday evening in Umag. The Polish girls beat Germany’s Anika Krebs and Jelena Wlk in two close sets (22-20 23-21) to grab the gold. For Kociolek it was her second Umag gold after she finished first at the Youth World Championship two years ago with Karolina Baran. Kociolek and Gruszczynska beat the Germans for the second time in what was the remake of the final match played at last year’s U20 European Championship in Hartberg, Austria. European duos completed a clean sweep of all medals at stake in Umag as Austria’s Katharina Schützenhöfer and Lena Plesiutschnig edged Spain’s Paula Soria and Raquel Brun in the bronze medal game. In what was a memorable day for Poland Maciej Kosiak and Maciej Rudol won bronze in the men’s competition after edging Russia’s Viacheslav Kirienko/Dmitry Uraikin with a double 21-19.
In the Umag final both teams did not give an inch. Germany was determined to come back after a tight loss in the first set and had chances to take the game into a tie-break at 20-19 and 21-20, but could not finish it. On Poland’s first match point there was confusion in the German reception and the gold eventually went to Kociolek and Gruszczynska. “I just can’t believe we won this second set” Kociolek shouted after the last whistle. “I felt so hopeless and made so many mistakes. But it doesn’t matter, we won. I am so glad we finally started to play at the end of the set”.
Eighteen-year old Kociolek and Gruszczynska will travel to Porto in two weeks to compete at the U19 World Championships. Kociolek won silver last year at the youth event with Baran. “I hope we can win another gold medal over there”.
Austria’s Katharina Schützenhöfer and Lena Plesiutschnig won the bronze medal after a very convincing 2-0 win (21-15, 21-13) over Paula Soria and Raquel Brun from Spain. Even though they were very disappointed about losing the semifinal to Poland they would take the bronze any day. “We will take a medal any time”, Schützenhöfer said. It was not easy for them to recharge after the tight and long semifinal. “It was a very difficult match. We slept a bit and after that tried to mobilize our strength. I am glad we made it because our bodies are drained and we are exhausted right now”.
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