Young Ukrainians win first World Tour gold

13.06.2021 - Vienna, Austria

The tournament in Sofia saw three European teams in the men’s podium

It was another weekend of success for European teams competing in the World Tour as duos from the continent took home four of the six medals in play in the one-star event in Sofia, Bulgaria, including golds in both genders. It was a repeat of the continent’s performance in the first tournament in Sofia, threw weeks ago.

The women’s event highlighted the emergence of 17-year-old Ukrainians Anhelina Khmil and Tetiana Lazarenko in the international scene. The two, who won the 2020 U18 European Championships and took bronze in this year’s U22 European Championships, secured their first World Tour gold with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) victory over Venezuelans Norisbeth Agudo and Gabi Brito.

Europe had a chance to collect a fifth medal in the event with Dorina and Ronja Klinger but the Austrian sisters fell to Americans Corinne Quiggle and Allie Wheeler 2-0 (21-15, 21-11) and had to settle for fourth.

The men’s tournament was entirely dominated by European tandems as all four semifinalists and seven out of the eight teams that made it to the semifinals were from the continent.

The victory went to Russians Petr Bakhnar and Valeriy Samoday, who downed Portuguese Hugo Campos and Joao Pedrosa 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) in the final. It was the first international gold for the 22-year-old Bakhnar while the 30-year-old Samoday won his fifth – he represented his native Ukraine internationally between 2008 and 2013 before retuning in 2018 to defend the colors of Russia.

The bronze medal match had an all-Italian matchup with Samuele Cottafava and Jakob Windisch, who typically play together in the World Tour, facing each other. Cottafava came up on top as Gianluca dal Corso and him defeated Windisch and Tobia Marchetto 2-0 (21-19, 23-21) to finish the tournament at the podium.

The next World Tour event will be the four-star tournament in the Swiss Alps of Gstaad from July 6-11.