Schneider and Benn the new World Champions after thriller endings
17 Aug 2012 at 22:30 | Published by: Hans | Views: 4122 | News search
Katharina Benn and Andreas Schneider, the new World Champions (Photo by Achim Braungart-Zink 2012)
The endings of the stroke play finals at the Youth World Championships were an unseen thriller with Andreas Schneider and Katharina Benn as the winners at the end. There were some amazing scores but also some evidence of nerves not in control at the final rounds. Katharina won last year’s youth European Championships in match play but Andreas has a disappointing individual result last year in Italy.
In the girls class Annika Dellmann (GER) was in the lead one stroke ahead of Lara Jehle (AUT) and Katharina Benn (GER) after yesterdays play. A bit behind was Sara Karlsson (SWE), 6 strokes behind and Vanessa Peuker (GER), 7 strokes behind.
After the morning double round Vanessa (31-19) has come a bit closer to a medal but further after the gold since Benn (25-23) played best and was now in the lead. Also Swedens Lina Liljegren played well (26-22) and was chasing the podium from behind. But the final two rounds belonged to Swedens Sara Karlsson. With an amazing (19-23) she was putting heavy pressure on the 4 top girls (Benn, Dellmann, Jehle and Peuker). So when she aced 18 she could see that neither Peuker nor Jehle could reach her results.
At that point Benn was in a quite clear lead with 4 lanes to go and that Dellmann needed two aces in the last four to beat Karlsson. But then Katharina Benn maybe started to feel the pressure and played a 2-3 on lane 15 and 16. Also Annika Dellmann was putting herself in a through position with 2-2 on lane 15 and 16. So with two lanes to go Benn was in the lead by 1 stroke over Dellmann and they could only afford 3 and 2 strokes to beat Karlsson in the green room. But Dellmann kept her game together and aced lane 17. Benn made a two and with both acing the last lane they would both be on 306 leaving Karlsson on bronze with 307. And two German aces it was making it a sudden death game for gold. In this sudden death Benn was the strongest already on lane 1 on felt.
Also in the boys class the end rounds provided lots of action and thrilling endings. This morning the German team closer and many time junior medalist Robin Hettrich was in the lead two strokes in front of Andreas Schneider and another stroke behind was Sebastian Piekorz and Marcel Waleska, all Germany. Best non German player this morning was Sweden’s Anders Brandt another stroke behind. So it all looked like a big opportunity of an all-German podium. Could maybe the Swedes make it something else?
While Robin had a surprisingly high first double round (31-21) there were other Germans playing well like Sebastian Piekorz (25-20) and Pascal Zeller (24-22). Best of all was Alexander Dahlstedt of Sweden with (23-20) coming from far behind. So with two laps to go there were still 4 Germans in top but the leader by 4 strokes was now Sebastian Piekorz. The three players playing in the leaders triple was Piekorz, Hettrich and Schneider.
On the last eternit lap Sweden’s Marcus Nisson made an 18 (the second overall in the competition) putting lots of pressure on the German four. When Nilsson then started off in a furious tempo on the felt he was actually sniffing on gold with 4 lanes to go. 4 aces by Nisson would have made him equal on gold position but an unlucky ending with four 2’s made Nilsson end one stroke from the medal podium.
Another strange development was that all 3 in the leader triple were starting to play quite shaky in the middle of the last round. In the BA file it looked for a while like none of them would be on the podium, but that was an obvious illusion since the easy ace lanes are the end of the round. But of course you need to make these aces as well. Best of all keeping the nerves in place was Andreas Schneider ending his round with 6 aces and by that securing the gold medal. Pascal Zeller ended with 5 of 6 aces and was by that alone in silver position. But with 3 lanes to go the gold was still in the hands of Sebastian Piekorz. His ending with 3-1-3 made him loose the gold and also the silver. As a fact even the bronze was not secure since he ended in the same score as Hettrich and Waleska.
Hettrich was also making a nervous ending since he actually was in gold position with 4 lanes to go. His ending 3-2-3-1 made him loose the all medals since he then lost the sudden death about the bronze to Piekorz. Also Waleska had a shaky ending with 2-2-2-1 losing 3 strokes to the gold winner Schneider.
Just behind the five Germans in the top was 3 Swedes (Heidengård, Nilsson and Brandt) for sure blaming themselves about a poor performance on the felt on the last lap.
Tomorrow is the Match Play finals with rankings based on the results after 10 rounds.
In the fight of getting into the last 32 boys one should notice Russias Evgeny Slivko ending with (25-19) to become last man to the final on place 32. Maybe the achivement of the day.
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