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15/04/2011
EUROPEAN TEAMS (DIV 3)
 

Portugal & Hosts Hungary Celebrate Breakthrough European Success

European Team Championship (Division 3), Budapest, Hungary

Portugal & Hosts Hungary Celebrate Breakthrough European Success

Portugal and hosts Hungary - both unseeded - emerged victorious in the inaugural European Team Championships (Division 3) at Griff Squash & Fitness in Budapest, Hungary.

The new European Squash Federation event has replaced the European Nations Challenge Cup, and features 'emerging' countries in the region which are bidding to compete in the long-established European Team Championships.

Portugal beat ninth seeds Russia 3/1 in the men's event semi-finals before overcoming top seeds Greece by the same score in the final.

The enthusiastic local crowd was able to enjoy home success in the women's event when Hungary followed a 2/1 win over Malta in the semi-finals by despatching second seeds Poland 3/0 in the final - with team members Edina Szombati, Helga Hajnal and Csenge Kiss-Mate all achieving straight games victories.

ESF President Hugo Hannes explained the background to the launch of this latest European Squash initiative: "When former President Chris Stahl and his board members decided to start the European Nations Challenge Cup (ENCC), ESF had the intention to promote squash in the developing countries of Eastern Europe.

"And it worked, as countries like Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine and others participated in the ENCC and it gave players international experience.

"A few years ago we saw that some of the countries were looking at the European Team Championships (ETC) and actually some of the nations entered both events. In 2010 ESF believed that the ENCC had served its purpose and, by making this event part of the ETC, ESF gave the countries a 'real and recognised' championship," Hannes continued.

"The growing success of the ETC (which has featured 48 teams!) made it increasingly difficult to find new hosts. In order to make this event accessible for future hosts we had to reduce the number of teams in the 'old format' of the ETC.

"At last year's AGM in Aix-en-Provence, the MNAs agreed to have one ETC, with 3 divisions: ETC 1 (8 men's and 8 women's teams); ETC 2 (12 men's and 8 women's teams); and ETC 3 (number depending on the entries - in Hungary the ETC 3 included 11 men's teams and 8 women's teams).

"From a sporting point of view, this new structure of the ETC has a number of interesting advantages: Each division will have its final and winner and this will give the winning teams recognition in their country. The finalists of Division 2 and Division 3 will be promoted to the higher division next year.

"The last two teams of Division 1 and Division 2 will be relegated to the lower divisions. This will result in a number of interesting matches up to the last day of the tournament to avoid relegation. So not only the matches to reach the final become interesting.

"Furthermore, when a team that is eligible to play in Division 2 does not enter that division, it will be relegated to Division 3 the year after. Today the women's teams of Sweden and Denmark and the men's team of Israel did not enter Division 2 - therefore they will be invited to play in Division 3 in 2012.

"This means that in the men's competition in Helsinki only one participating team will be relegated, together with Israel. Following this month's success in Budapest, Portugal and Greece will be promoted to Division 2.

"In the women's competition in 2011, no participating teams will be relegated - and Hungary and Poland will fill up the Division 2 in Germany in 2012.

"Trying to become champion in each of the divisions and to avoid relegation in Division 1 and 2 will give the players and supporters a number of good and exciting matches ... and that's what it is all about," concluded the ESF President.

Men's semi-finals:
[1] GREECE bt [4] GIBRALTAR 3/1
Fabian Kalaitzis bt Anthony Brindle 3-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4
Petros Tzamaloukas bt Christian Navas 11-4, 8-11, 11-1, 11-3
Declan Christie bt Stephen Shacaluga 11-5, 11-7, 11-7
Konstantinos Kargiotis lost to Adam Newnham 6-11, 7-11, 6-11

PORTUGAL bt [9] RUSSIA 3/1
Rui Soares bt Dmitry Sudilovsky 11-4, 11-6, 11-5
Andre Lima lost to Roman Fetisov 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 3-11
Matthew Theodoris bt Pavel Sergeev 11-7, 11-6, 11-5
Claudio Pinto bt Valery Litvinko 12-10, 8-11, 11-8

Final:
PORTUGAL bt [1] GREECE 3/1
Rui Soares bt Fabian Kalaitzis 11-9, 6-11, 15-13, 11-5
Matthew Theodoris lost to Declan Christie 11-6, 5-11, 9-11, 8-11
Joao Caiano bt Petros Tzamaloukas 10-12, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5
Claudio Pinto bt Konstantinos Kargiotis 11-2, 11-1, 11-5

3rd place play-off:
[4] GIBRALTAR bt [9] RUSSIA 2/2 (Gibraltar win 8-7 on games countback)
Anthony Brindle bt Dmitry Sudilovsky 11-6, 11-5, 12-10
Stephen Shacaluga bt Pavel Sergeev 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5
Christian Navas lost to Roman Fetisov 4-11, 5-11, 6-11
Adam Newnham lost to Valery Litvinko 12-14, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11

5th place play-off:
[2] CROATIA bt [7] MALTA 2/2 (Croatia win 101-93 on points countback)
Manuel Fistonic lost to Bradley Hindle 2-11, 6-11, 6-11
Vedran Svonja bt Karl Camilleri 11-5, 11-1, 11-1
Robert Petrovic lost to Daniel Zammit-Lewis 9-11, 4-11, 7-11
Srdan Maksimovic bt Mark Lupi 11-4, 12-10, 11-6

7th place play-off:
[3] POLAND bt [5] TURKEY 4/0
Wojciech Nowisz bt Huseyin Gumus 12-10, 12-10, 11-4
Maciek Maciantowicz bt Ergul Yilmazel 11-3, 11-1, 11-7
Marcin Karwowski bt Sinan Salih 11-1, 11-0, 11-4
Konrad Tyma bt Atilla Mustafaoglu 11-5, 11-3, 11-5

9th-11th place play-offs: 9 NORWAY, 10 [6]MONACO, 11 [8]ISLE OF MAN

Women's semi-finals:
HUNGARY bt MALTA 2/1
Helga Hajnal bt Annabell Diamantino 11-9, 11-4, 11-2
Zsofia Marton lost to Colette Sultana 11-7, 10-12, 13-11, 6-11, 7-11
Edina Szombati bt Johanna Rizzo 11-6, 11-6, 11-9

[2] POLAND bt [1] LUXEMBOURG 2/1
Dominika Witkowska lost to Sandra Denis 7-11, 7-11, 10-12
Magdalena Kaminska bt Claudia Mich 11-1, 11-9, 11-3
Anna Jurkun bt Francoise Donven 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-1

Final:
HUNGARY bt [2] POLAND 3/0
Edina Szombati bt Anna Jurkun 11-5, 11-8, 11-2
Helga Hajnal bt Dominika Witkowska 12-10, 11-6, 11-8
Csenge Kiss-Mate bt Magdalena Kaminska 11-5, 11-3, 11-9

3rd place play-off:
MALTA bt [1] LUXEMBOURG 2/1
Johanna Rizzo bt Francoise Donven 11-4, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5
Annabell Diamantino lost to Sandra Denis 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 6-11, 1-11
Colette Sultana bt Claudia Mich 11-3, 11-3, 11-7

5th place play-off:
RUSSIA bt [3] GREECE 2/1
Ekaterina Marusan bt Zeta Tzamalouka 12-14, 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 13-11
Olga Petrukhina lost to Eliza Kargioti 11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 5-11, 6-11
Alina Tuzlukova bt Nikoleta Pozidi 11-4, 11-0, 11-8

7th place play-off:
[5] CROATIA bt [4] TURKEY 3/0
Paulina Rados bt Zeynep Kocakavak 11-6, 11-3, 11-6
Josipa Person bt Ayten Kececi 11-4, 11-3, 11-8
Katarina Milas bt Sefiye Oncel 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-8