EYOF Comes to a Close

The 13th Youth Olympic Festival is over. Mayor of Tbilisi, David Narmania declared that he is proud that this outstanding sports event has become a real holiday, which will undoubtedly occupy a worthy place in the history of the Olympic movement. Tbilisi hosted 2,334 athletes from 50 countries. Volleyball players, handball players, judoka, basketball players, swimmers, tennis players, gymnasts, cyclists and athletes all competed for Olympic medals over 6 days.

First of all, this festival was outstanding for the Georgian sportsmen. Georgia came in tenth in the general ranking of medals. Mostly, this is thanks to the judokas. Nine of the ten medals were earned by judokas with one bronze medal earned by Dmitri Govorov in gymnastics. In EYOF Tbilisi 2015, the Georgian judokas had the best results in the entire judo competition, earning 9 (4-0-5) medals in total.

On Friday the boys’ Polish national team in volleyball won 3:0 against the Czech Republic and faced Bulgaria in the final match, beating them 75:47. Bulgaria had a challenging competition against Italy 3:2. Serbian and Turkish volleyball players met in the final game yesterday among girls with Turkey winning 108-92.

Slovenia met France in the boys’ handball competition, having defeated Germany 28:23 in the semi-finals and France having defeated Norway- one of the best teams- with 29:19. France won with a score of 30:28. The girls' Danish and Russian teams also competed in the final and the Russians won with 21:20.

The Spanish basketball players defeated Latvia’s team 83:71 in the semi-finals and met Bosnia and Herzegovina in the final, losing to them 89:79. The Belgian girls beat Russia 60:57 in the semi-finals, though the Russians were in control of the match for most of the first three quarters. The Belgians, however, managed to take the lead in the final quarter and finally defeated their rivals. They fought for the gold medal against Czech Republic but lost to them 52:33.

The Hungarian national team became absolute champions in swimming. Petra Barocsai won a gold medal in the girls’ 100m breaststroke, fixing her time at 1:01:46. Before this gold medal, she put a silver medal to her name in the 800m freestyle swimming. Fourteen-year-old Ajna Evelin Kesely is the main contender for the unofficial status of best athlete of the tournament with four gold and one silver medal.

Russian Daria Skrypnik became the champion in uneven bars with 14.850 points and won her third gold medal. The bronze medal was given to Nina Derwael coming behind Skrypnik with 14.800 points. The bronze medal went to Russia’s Anastasiia Iliankova.

As was expected, the Russian delegation earned the most medals (including gold) at the EYOF; winning 17 gold, 9 silver and 11 bronze medals in total; it is not surprising that the most of these medals for Russia were for the artistic gymnastics with Darya Skrypnik, who gained four gold and one silver for her country. Other greats of the festival were gymnast Giarnni Lorenzo Regini-Moran, basketball player Dzanan Musa, and swimmers Alexei Sancov and Ajna Evelin Kesely, all of whom have the potential to inscribe their names in sporting history.

Next Summer the European Youth Olympic Festival will take place in the city of Gyor in Hungary.

The future host country also showed excellent results. The Hungarian delegation won 23 (9–3–11) medals and took the fourth place, 16 of which (8–3–5) were earned by swimmers, with the greatest contribution being made by 14-year-old Ajna Evelin Kesely, who was peerless in 4 disciplines and only fell to 2nd place in the 100m freestyle.

Italy with 24 medals was the most successful in terms of medal count after Russia. Carolina Visca of Italy beat the EYOF record in girls’ javelin throw, with a distance of 60.09m, and earned the gold medal easily. France took the third place in the group ranking with 22 (9–5–8) medals in the various sports.

The 13th Youth Olympic Festival finished with a Closing Ceremony, which was held in the Olympic Village on August 1 and featured a parade with the flags of the 50 participating European countries; an address by Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia; and Europe’s Olympic Committee Vice-president, Janez Kocijancic’s statement on the official closing of EYOF Tbilisi 2015.

“During this week I was a witness to the hard work, outstanding skills, professionalism, team work and fair competition of all the sportsmen. I know that I express the feelings that bring together tens of thousands of viewers in Tbilisi and around the world: I am really proud to watch our young athletes. Your success and your spirit is our inspiration. I would like to thank everyone who was a part of this event and made it real,” said Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili.

Afterwards, the Mayor of Tbilisi, David Narmania, handed the European Olympic Committee’s flag over to Mr. David Pekete, the representative of the city of Gyor – the city which will be the host of the 14th summer Youth Olympic Festival in 2017.

Photo: Mr. David Pekete, the representative of the city of Gyor, Hungray (host city of EYOF 2017), Mr. Janez Kocijancic, President of EOC, and David Narmania, Mayor of Tbilisi.

Eka Karsaulidze

02 August 2015 12:04