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Under-23 International Challenge 2010 - Vedano/Italy



The Under-23 International Challenge tournament was held on the 6th and 7th March 2010 at the indoor concrete course in Vedano al Lambro near Monza, Italy. Austria won the event, with Italy the runners-up and Germany third.

Alberto Pirovano organiser of the 2010 Under-23 International Challenge minigolf tournament said "We are very happy because the main nations in Minigolfsport played in Vedano and it was a great experience for our young players and good for minigolf in Italy. The players will benefit greatly from this under-23 project. They will be able to teach others, I think, a good approach to full International main events. I think that International competitions that are open to different nations are right, and in helping each other, we can grow together in sport."

Alberto added "I hope all participants felt a good international and sporting atmosphere and will also have good memories about this competition. From an organising point of view, we planned and organised this tournament as a real championship and nothing, I hope, was missed. My thanks to all the national teams who took part, to Paolo Porta for his support with IT and media materials, to Roberto Mariani for team and player pictures and to all the people who supported our event."

Photo

Paolo Porta from the Italian Minigolf Federation (FIGSP) was also involved in the event and said "From an organising point of view, it was a nice tournament, with an interesting format that meant all of the matches were very interesting and the victory of the tournament was open until the last hole. I really think this Under-23 project could be very useful for young players, to let them have the chance to gain international experience without the typical stresses of an elite or youth championship. I wish Sweden the best of luck in organising the 2011 edition of this challenge competition.

Paolo added "From an "Italy-supporter" point of view, I'm both happy and a bit sad about the tournament result. Happy because we had both our teams in the top 4, a bit sad because our team had four holes advantage with something like ten holes left to play the end of the tournament. We paid for some of our inexperience with our last players, but that's OK, as after all this project was designed to allow players gain and learn from the experience. And they surely did this time!"

This year, forty players from five countries took part in the event, with ten teams competing in total: Austria (2 teams), Germany (1 team + 1 mixed with Italy), Sweden (2 teams), and Switzerland (2 teams) and the host country Italy (2 teams + 1 mixed with Germany). The 10 teams were divided into two groups, with each team playing the others in their group in a team matchplay format.


The final rankings were:
1. AUSTRIA 2
2. ITALY 2
3. GERMANY 1
4. ITALY 1
5. SWEDEN 1
6. SWEDEN 2
7. SWITZERLAND 1
8. AUSTRIA 1
9. GERMANY/ITALY
10. SWITZERLAND 2*

The winning 'Austria 2' team comprised of Marc Cervinka, Katja Schalkhaas, Karin Heschl and Thomas Obertaxer.

The best individual players of the tournament were Boris Arzuffi and Roland Mittelberger (both from Italy) among the men, with total scores of 154 strokes (a 25.7 average); among the ladies, was Yvonne Klukas (Switzerland) also with total score of 154 strokes. The best individual rounds of the tournament were the scores of 22 played by Marc Cervinka (Austria) and Roger Wicki (Switzerland). In total 21 "blue" rounds were played.

Robert Krof head coach of the winning Austrian team said "Team Austria 2 was in the best condition mentally. They made no mistakes in the deciding moments, therefore we won the competition. In the final round we were almost defeated by the home team favourites Italy. We could do the turnaround in a brilliant way. It seems that Austrian players are made for the knockout format. We do have some players with that famous "killer instinct". This was a perfect start for the young team and me as head coach. Thanks to my players, coaches and Alberto and his organisation for the wonderful event.


Germany's head coach Matthias Reiche said of his team's third place finish "I'm quite satisfied with the four days we spent in Monza. Our team was focused and worked really well together. We had a lot of fun, that is the most important thing, and the players learned a lot from each other and a bit from us coaches too! Of course we wanted to win, but for that we played too badly in the semi-final. Altogether the level we played with our first team was high and therefore I'm proud of our team. Thanks to Stefan Zischg and Roland Mittelberger for helping us to build a mixed team from Germany and Italy! They did a great job!"

The tournament website can be viewed at http://nuke.figsp.it/U23Challenge2010/tabid/154/Default.aspx


Photo: Paolo Porta


Richard Gottfried
WMF Media Group

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