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27/07/2019 23:00
Italy and Russia claim EYOF top honours
2019 European Youth Olympic Festival

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 27, 2019. Italy and Russia were the eventual winners of the men’s and women’s Volleyball competition, respectively, as the 2019 edition of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) ended on Saturday in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Despite losing their opening match in the tournament to Bulgaria (2-3), Italy regrouped and marched from triumph to triumph, capping their campaign with a 3-1 victory in the gold medal match with Belgium. As a result, Italy retained the title claimed by a previous generation of promising players at the 2017 EYOF held in Györ, Hungary. After a 2-3 setback in the semis to Belgium, Russia finished their journey in style, edging Belarus 3-1 in the bronze medal match.

The tournament featured eight teams, with Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Germany and hosts Azerbaijan completing the places from 5 to 8 in the final standing.

Team Russia celebrate their gold medal winning performance in Baku.

Two years ago in Györ, Italy completed a clean sweep of the EYOF top honours but this time their women’s team had to be content with fourth place after a dramatic 2-3 loss in the semis to Romania and a 0-3 setback against Turkey in the bronze medal match.

Russia were the eventual gold medal winners, following their 3-1 victory over Romania. Belarus, Germany, Ukraine and Bulgaria finished in that order to complete places 5-8 in the final standing of the tournament. The gold medal match between Russia and Romania was a repeat of a fixture from the pool phase – which Russia had claimed 3-1 as well. It is Russia’s first EYOF gold medal in women’s Volleyball to improve on the silver they had secured in 1999 in Esbjerg (Denmark) and 2009 in Tampere (Finland).

The next edition of the European Youth Olympic Festival will be taking place in 2021 in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia.

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