The first, historical medal goes to Nanna Lind Kristensen
With women's singles, Teqball took off at European Games 2023 Kraków-Malopolska which is also the sport's first European championships.
The competition started with the women’s singles, where 16 players represented their countries.
The group stage brought exciting and nail-biting clashes. Italian Mara D’Alessandro won in straight sets against the young Danish phenom, Nanna Lind Kristensen, however, the sets were decided by two and one points, respectively, and this is how D’Alessandro finished first in group D ahead of Kristensen.
In group C, Romanian Kinga Barabasi dominated right off the bat as she did not allow more than 7 points to her opponents in any sets. The biggest drama occurred in the game between Iva Burvalova and Carla Couto, with the Czech winning 2:0 but she managed to do that by golden points, thus finishing 2nd in the group and advancing to the quarterfinals.
Portugal's Carla Couto, the most experienced player of the category.
In group B, Hungarian Zsanett Janicsek allowed only 30 points during her three matches, which was the least among all players, and Austrian Andrea Sommer ended up being 2nd after defeating Serbian Anastasija Lemajic 2:1.
Frenchwoman Amelie Julian, the top-seeded player faced no trouble during the early stages in group A, and German Dana Hillmann also advanced, which meant her best individual result already.
The first three quarterfinals went according to the odds, but the fourth one brought the biggest upset of the day. Julian made it easy against Burvalova, D’Alessandro ousted Sommer, and Barabasi gave no chance to Hillmann, all of them won 2:0. The fourth QF also ended with this score, however, 18-year-old Kristensen shocked the heavily favoured, two-time world champion Janicsek, and made her way into the top four.
Barabasi against Hillmann in the QF.
The youngster was not able to carry the momentum into the semis though, where Barabasi closed her out in two sets, and Julian also put up a strong performance versus D’Alessandro, so the final and the bronze match were set.
In the bronze medal game, Kristensen successfully did her revenge for the loss in the group stage against D’Alessandro and won the first-ever European Championship medal for Denmark only at the age of 18 which makes her the youngest teqer in the category.
"I have never dreamt to reach the podium before Krakow. I managed to stay calm and focused all the time and that was the reason why I took the bronze medal."
Bronze game next to Krakow's historical Old Market and Town Hall Tower
Then it turned out that for one day she can call herself the only European Championship medallist in Teqball because the rain washed away the final between Barabasi and Julian, which will be played on Thursday, at 5:20 PM.