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The 6th year of the European Youth League successfully finished with Finals in Smederevo, Serbia

The European Youth League-2014 successfully finished on Sunday, October 5, with exciting Medal Matches in Air Rifle and Air Pistol. 58 competitors from 13 nations have come to in Serbia to fight for the medals and trophies. The Serbian Shooting Sport Federation and the Shooting Club Smederevo have kindly offered to organize the Finals in Smederevo, a city of 127 years of shooting sport tradition.

Since the beginning of the year young athletes all over Europe have qualified in two steps to enter the prestigious EYL Finals. In the Air Rifle event the participants came from Austria, Croatia, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the host federation Serbia. The Air Pistol competitors came from Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the host country Serbia.

The EYL is a mixed team competition for athletes of the age 14-18 years. For many of them the EYL is the first chance to get some international experience and many athletes who have started their carrier in the EYL have won titles and medals at European Championships, World Championship and even the Youth Olympic Games.

31 girls and 27 boys took part in the Finals in Smederevo. After the first day of competition on Saturday with 3 matches for each team the 4 best teams qualified for the bronze and gold matches on Sunday.

The team from Poland won the bronze medals in the Pistol competition ahead of the team from the Czech Republic. The bronze match in the Rifle event was won by Hungary ahead of the team from Croatia.

The Rifle and Pistol Teams of Russia both qualified for the Sunday matches and they both managed to win the gold medals. The pistol athletes won against Ukraine and the rifle match was won against the team from Norway after an extremely exiting match. The two teams took turns leading the Final and after the 20 Finals’ shot the teams were tied and a shoot-off had to take place. That was however not enough – another shoot-off had to decide the winner. The athletes really offered the spectators the high light of the weekend.

In addition to the EYL Medals the teams entering the podium also received a special trophy from the host federation to keep as a nice souvenir from Smederevo. The ESC challenge trophies awarded to the teams of Russia will now stay in Moscow for 1 year till the Final in 2015. The teams on the podium also received the special gifts from the ESC President Mr Vladimir Lisin - SIUS HS-10 Hybridescore systems.

The ESC is extending its warm gratitude to the Serbian Shooting Sport Federation for excellent organization and great hospitality. Thanks also to young athletes and their coaches for great performance in the spirit of friendship and fair play. The ESC welcomes all European Federations to the EYL 2015 that will end with the Finals taking place in Sweden.

Kerstin Bodin, ESC Vice-President

Photos by Vladimir Gogić

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