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Poland’s Kociolek and Gruszscynska claim U21 title in Umag

Poland's Jagoda Gruszczynska and Katarzyna Kociolek won the U21 world title in Umag
Umag, Croatia, June 23, 2013 – Katarzyna Kociolek and Jagoda Gruszscynska 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 U19 World Champions two years ago with Karolina Baran. Kociolek and Gruszczynska beat the Germans for the second time in a final, in 2012 they took the gold in the U20 European Championships against Krebs and Wlk.

Very tight sets

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 tiebreak 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 went to Kociolek and Gruszscynska.

“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 Gruszscynska will travel to Porto in two weeks to compete at the U19 World Championships. Kociolek won silver last year at this youth event with Baran. “I hope we can win another gold over there.”

Austria wins bronze medal

Austria’s Katharina Schützenhofer and Lena Plesiutschnig won the bronze medal after a very convincing 2-0 win (21-15 21-13) win 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”, Schützenhofer 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 mobilise our strength. I am glad we made it because our bodies are drained and we are exhausted right now.”

FIVB U21 World Championships Tournament Page 

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