THERE WAS A marvellous ending for the Polish squad to the Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships for Youth in Petrich, Bulgaria as they won team gold in the Girls’ and Under 17 categories.
The U17’s team event went down to a decider as Poland took the gold medal in a hard-fought contest against a battling Finland. 14-year-old Michal Wiech got the ball rolling for the Poles in the 8-ball match-up before Riku Romppanen levelled things up for the Finns in 9 balls.
That left the stage for Adam Swadzba to bring it home for Poland as he led throughout against Jori Narvola, eventually getting over the line 6-4. For Narvola it was a third silver of the championship following runners-up spots in the 8 and 10 ball.
Poland had gone undefeated through the competition using four players in total – Michal Wiech, Dominik Homza, Adam Swadzba and Tomasz Gorski. The win was further evidence that Poland’s pool talent factory shows no sign of slowing down.
For Swadzba, the gold added to the bronze medal he won in the 8-ball division, to crown a marvellous week: “I feel very good – for me and for Poland it’s very important when we win a gold medal. We have beaten a very strong nation like Finland. Michal beat a very good player in Sasu Hietamies and I won a good game against Narvola.
“I was very nervous because at the beginning I was 5-0 up but he came back and got to 5-4 which made me really stressed!”
Wiech was highly satisfied in his first outing with the national squad; “It was my first European Championships and in straight pool I won a silver medal and it was a great feeling. It’s different in a team because you’re fighting for your country. It’s a really great moment.”
Finland 1 – 2 Poland
Sasu Hietamies 1 - 6 Michal Wiech (8)
Riku Romppanen 7 - 3 Dominik Homza (9)
Jori Narvola 4 - 6 Adam Swadzba (10)
Bronze medals went to Germany and Estonia.
In the Girls’ event it was once again Poland who took gold against Austria in a tense shootout following wins for both countries in the two matches. With each player having three attempts, it was Austria who missed the opening ball of the shoot-out. That gave the Poles the initiative and despite Austria not missing again, the two Polish players had a 100% record to seal the victory.
It was sweet revenge for the two Polish girls – Izabella Jonska and Dominika Pawelczyk – after they were relegated to the losers’’ side of the bracket following a shoot-out defeat to the same Austrian team in the Winners’ Qualification round. Poland though, fired back with wins over Norway and then Germany to guarantee at least a silver medal.
For Dominika Pawelczyk, it was her second gold of the Championships, following glory in the 10 ball earlier in the week. After her team mate, Izabella Jonska went down 5-0 to Lena Primus in the first match, Pawelczyk stepped up to win her 9-ball game and set up the shoot-out victory.
She said, “It feels great! I think we played very solid throughout and we knew what we had to do to get the gold medal and go home.
“The shootout is very difficult. When you’re nervous and you have it in your head that you can lose just like that if you miss a ball, it’s hard. Potting that ball is so difficult but we’re so excited that we did it,” she added.
Austria 1 – 1 Poland (Poland win 6-5 in a shoot-out)
Lena Primus 5 - 0 Izabella Jonska (8)
Sarah Kapeller 2 - 6 Dominika Pawelczyk (9)
Bronze medals went to Germany and the Netherlands.
All matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com as well as selected matches on the EPBF’s Facebook page.
Results, live scoring and draws are available at www.epbf.com/tournaments/european-championships/