European Team Championship Division 3 in Riga
Women’s Ukraine and men’s Sweden top European Team Championship Division 3 in Riga.
A record number of teams, 27, participated in the European Team Championship Division 3 in Riga from 25 April through 28 April, 2018.
The Championship was held in Pepsi center, the largest squash club in Latvia with 8 squash courts. 9 women’s teams and 18 men’s teams combined 133 squash players from 20 countries.
In the most intense final of the women’s competition between the best two performing teams in the Championship, Ukraine marginally beat Italy, 2:1, to win the gold medals. Most importantly, the Ukrainian women’s team will join Division 2 for the first time ever! Italy returns to Division 2 after playing just one year in ETC3. Norway earned bronze in the Championship.
In the men’s competition, Sweden remained unbeaten also in the knock-out stage and deservedly won the gold medals of the Championship. Croatia came second to join the champions in Division 2 next year. The Ukrainian men’s team came third and was beaten only by the champions in the semifinal of the Championship.
The friendliest atmosphere of the tournament and the level of organization of the Championship was highly recognized by the officials, referees, and participating teams.
The Championship would not have been possible without the continuous support from the Technical delegate of the European Squash federation, Barry Brindle who provided rather extensive evaluation of the Championship:
‘Firstly congratulations to the men’s and women’s winners Sweden and Ukraine and to the other promoted teams Croatia and Italy!
It is so satisfying being involved in such a successful tournament as ETC 3. The standard of play and professionalism of the organisation of the event gets better every year. This year that is all down to the hard work of the Championship Director, Raivis Lucijanovs, and his team of volunteers who worked tirelessly before and during the event. A special mention must go to the Software coordinator Eriks Tikaiže for his technical expertise controlling the event schedules and results.
This year we had a record entry of 27 teams from 20 countries. They competed on all 8 courts in a marvellous sports centre in the beautiful city of Riga. This will long be remembered by the players, coaches and managers of all competing countries.
It’s been hard work for all those teams and the organisers but it has all been thoroughly worthwhile.
For me it is great to make so many new friends from Latvia and help in the organisation of such an event, which was so obviously enjoyed by so many people.’
The Vice-president of the European Squash federation Marcel Borst was also present in the Championship and highly appraised the squash event in Riga: ‘Latvia Squash Federation can be proud. A superb host, great finals, strong play, best atmosphere ever. Compliments for complete organizers committee. Special thanks for the social media channel, the live stream and all local media attention.’
Last but not least, the Championship was supported by the Latvian Sports Federation council and its representative, Maris Liepinš, stated that squash would be one of the sports supported by the state going forward as well.
At the end of the Championship, the Championship Director, Raivis Lucijanovs, passed the European Squash federation flag to the Vice-president of the European Squash federation Marcel Borst:
‘We were honoured to host the squash event of such a magnitude! Many thanks to my team and Barry who made this Championship possible, all the participating teams, referees, and spectators that raised the friendly spirit of the event to the highest level! Also, we are confident that state support will help us to develop squash in the nearest future!
We will be looking forward to find out the host country for the European Team Championship Division 3 in 2019 that will be announced soon!’
Photos of the Championship: