(E) Domogoj Spoljar Croatia's Squash Man taking second place
Croatian Squashman Domogoj Spoljar taking silver
Slovaks & Czechs Top Euro Nations Cup
The inaugural European Nations Cup took place on 28/29 November at the wonderful Markisa Fajn Club on the outskirts of Bratislava in Slovakia, organized by Rusty Koys, reports ESF Vice-President Deirbhile O'Byrne.
The team event was restricted to small and developing squash nations that have yet to play in the European Team Championships or whose men have not finished in the top 16 or whose women have not finished in the top 12 in the European Team Championships in the last five years. The men's teams consisted of three players and the women's teams of two players, to try and encourage participation and keep costs down.
Twelve Men's teams and six Women's teams competed over 2 days with all playing 5 and some playing 6 matches! The Men's event was won by the hosts Slovakia with the Isle of Man second and Poland third. The Slovak Junior team exceeded all expectations as a "guest" team, beating most of their senior opponents. The Women's event was played on a round-robin basis. The winners were the Czech Republic, with Slovakia coming second and Hungary third (beating Gibraltar on count back).
The informal warm-up individual events for early arrivals attracted 24 Men and 9 Women. The Men's event was won by Marek Zvoncek from Slovakia with Domogoj Spoljar of Croatia taking second. The Women's event was won by Aneta Paprnakova of Slovakia, Edina Szombati of Hungary was second.
The whole event was a great success, O'Byrne reports, and it is expected to grow each year as more and more countries see the benefit of international competition and the opportunity of exchanging marketing and technical knowledge with others who have similar aspirations and experience.