Myslowice, Poland, July 11, 2007 - A total of eight men's and women's teams from European countries won qualifying matches here Wednesday in the sixth annual SWATCH-FIVB World Championships for players under the age of 19.
Earning spots in the 24-team men’s Main Draw were Peter Eglseer/Dimitri Wojakow of Austria, Oscar Dupouy/Olivier Ragondet of France, Marcin Kantor/Damian Wojtasik of Poland, Vitalii Didukh/Pavlo Ostapenko of the Ukraine.
Advancing from the women’s Qualification Tournament to the Main Draw were Bettina Hartmann/Christine Schneider of Austria, Zuzana Markova/Michaela Volakova of the Czech Republic, Linda Haandrikman/Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands and Aleksandra Filip/Daria Paszek of Poland.
Highlighting Wednesday’s play were three qualifying wins by Didukh and Ostapenko over teams from Lithuania, Germany and Canada. The Ukrainians were second-place finishers in last year’s European championships for their age group.
“Because we hadn't played in the World Championships U-19 last year, we had to play in the Qualification Tournament,” Ostapenko explained after his team eliminated Germany’s Rene Einbrodt and Rasmus Mumme, the top-seeded team in the men’s qualifier.
“We arrived here not sure of our physical shape, because we didn't play in many matches this year,” Ostapenko. “Vitalii sustained an injury of his knee and he couldn't train until May. We also had school in June so we could only train together after graduating. We played in the Baltic Cup and won a few matches to get ready for this week.”