Orenburg tennis player gets best results in Europe
PR and Media Relations Service, Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg
On September 5, 2016, young tennis player Vladislav Bannikov was honored in Orenburg for winning the 12th EuroMiniChamp’s table tennis competition in the mini cadet boys category.
The competition ended on August 28 in Strasbourg, France. It brought together 127 athletes from 32 countries around the world.
Vladislav won all 15 sets. The final gold medal match against Elian Zemmal (France), a home player, was the toughest one.
“It was really hard when I was losing 0–2 and I couldn’t pull myself together. It doesn’t feel good when the entire audience is against you,” says the young athlete. “My coach, Igor Lezhnev, instructed me. Thanks to his support I managed to reverse the situation.”
He led the next two sets. In the fifth set, when the score was 10–10, Vladislav took two points in a row, finally winning the match.
Viktor Andreev, Vice President and head coach of the Fakel – Gazprom table tennis club, called the young athlete’s victory a sports feat: “For the first time in table tennis history in the Old World, a Russian tennis player has won a European championship. Singles competition is the most prestigious and difficult part of the championship. Vladislav has demonstrated enormous will and self-control in the finals.”
“Table tennis has become the region’s calling card, mostly thanks to the efforts of Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg,” said Vice Governor Dmitry Kulagin, President of the Table Tennis Federation of the Orenburg Region. “It’s gratifying to see children’s tennis is developing.”
Vladislav is 12 years old. He has played sports since he was five. He made his first steps in tennis at the Gazovik children’s and youth sports school. At present, Vladislav Bannikov exercises at the Table Tennis Center built under the Gazprom for Children program (opened in spring 2013). Bannikov is a prize-winner of various national and international tournaments. He usually takes top positions in the TOP-24 ranking in his age category. Playing for the Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg team at the 11th Children’s Winter Spartakiada Games in 2016, he won a bronze medal in the individual competition among boys born in and after 2003.
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