France wins Junior Pétanque Championships

SAPHAN HIN: France on Sunday recaptured the Seventh World Junior Pétanque Championship title after a lapse of six years, with a convincing 15-6 win over Switzerland. The French team – Ludovic Labrue, 17, Alexandre Ruffo, 17, Romaine Scultore, 15, and Nicolas Taviand, 17 – used a variety of strategic moves in “pointing” and “shooting” that experts agreed showed maturity beyond their youth. The champion of the past two biennial competitions, Spain, was unable to come up with a strong team this year and bowed out early in the competition, losing 10-13 to Finland. Finland went on to beat Italy 13-6 to claim third place. Thailand 1 had the misfortune to be drawn against France in the quarter-finals immediately after the opening ceremony, attended by HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana. Despite her presence, the Thai team could not match France and lost 13 to 3. On the second day of the competition, Thailand 2 and the other 11 sides who had failed to make it into the top eight took part in a separate competition, the Nation Cup. In the semi-finals, the gritty Cambodian team beat Thailand 2 by a narrow 13-12, while Belgium beat the Czech Republic 13-7. In the final, Belgium beat Cambodia 13-9. The chairman of the organizing committee, Air Vice Marshal Prasit Kasemaditya, was upbeat about the Thai teams’ performances. “Out of the top eight teams, seven teams were from Europe,” he said. “[Thailand 1] were the only Asian team. We had a poor draw. To be matched against the best team in the competition in the opening round meant we could not go any further. “But the second team performed well enough to reach the third round of the [Nation] competition.”

Phuket News

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