28/08/2016 17:08
Home party for Lehtonen and Lahti as Kisakallio Satellite comes to an end
2016 CEV Satellite - Kisakallio

Kisakallio, Finland, August 28, 2016. The final day of the CEV Kisakallio Satellite provided the home stars as well as the local audience with a very emotional moment. Top-seeded Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti completed their clean home run by winning another two matches, including the ‘grand finale’ with Magdalena Dostalova and Karolina Rehackova of the Czech Republic (21-10, 21-18) to net the second CEV Satellite title in their career. Back in 2014 Lehtonen and Lahti had topped the final standing of the event held in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

The event held at Kisakallio Sports Institute was truly special for Lehtonen since her parents worked as ball retrievers for the entire tournament. “That was very emotional indeed,” Lehtonen admitted, “and something which maybe happened 30 years ago for the last time. Of course it was a big disappointment for us not to make it to the Rio 2016 Olympics, but winning this kind of international tournament makes you feel good,” she added.

In the semis Lehtonen and Lahti survived a real scare and erased three match balls for their German opponents Sandra Ittlinger and Yanina Weiland before netting their 2-1 (16-21, 21-16, 18-16) win. “We played pretty good for the whole weekend,” Taru Lahti commented. Next week she will be playing at the CEV Jurmala Masters in Latvia along with the only 20-year old Anniina Parkkinen.

The eventual medallists were all smiling. Apart from Lehtonen/Lahti, Dostalova and Rehackova were also happy with their silver – as much as Annemieke Driessen and Ilke Meertens of the Netherlands, who finished third after starting their campaign from the qualification round on Thursday. Driessen and Meertens fought their way back through the losers’ bracket and by the end of the week had contested as many as eight matches in Kisakallio.

“Riikka and Taru played at a very high level and today deserved their victory,” Dostalova said. “But only today,” she added with a smile. Dostalova, who is only 21, is trying to follow in the footsteps of her elder, more illustrious big brother Josef Dostal, who earlier this month won two medals – one silver and one bronze – at the Rio Olympics in canoeing.  

Click here for more info including detailed results, final standing and much more

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