Erasmus University Rotterdam tennis players won gold at the EU Games in Zagreb. The University of Innsbruck was beaten 2-1 in the final.
Passing Shot player Stefan de Jong comfortably won his match against Manuel Bellutti 6-2, 6-2. The doubles match, for which De Jong teamed up with Bart van den Berg, was won 6-2, 6-4. Bart van den Berg’s 4-6, 5-7 loss to Patrick Ofner in the second singles match therefore did not affect the final outcome.
The achievement of the two men was all the more special because they had beaten top 1,000 players of the ATP tour in earlier rounds.
Eventually it was the only medal that Erasmus University Rotterdam won at the ‘Olympic Games’ for students. The ladies ended seventh out of fourteen university tennis teams.
Annika van Putten was Erasmus University Rotterdam’s sole entry in the rowing competition. She powered her skiff to fifth place. During the tournament, she improved her personal best by no less than 13 seconds, achieving a time of 7 minutes and 50 seconds.
Footballers completely outclassed
The Rotterdam footballers had a tough time: the men’s team lost its three group matches and the three play-offs. The balance was a painful 0 goals scored and 32 conceded. The result was a sixteenth and last place.
The women fared only slightly better. The EUR team suffered defeats of 7-1 and 10-1 in the group stage. Nevertheless, the team managed to win 6-4 against the University of Zagreb in the play-offs for eleventh place.
The Rotterdam futsal team was also out of its depth. There were only defeats in the group stage (6 goals scored and 29 conceded). A defeat in the play-offs meant that the Rotterdam team did not progress to the quarter finals.
The main reason for the disastrous performance of the men’s football teams was the absence of Alvaro Fernandez Garcia. Because the RSM student, who normally plays as a goalkeeper in futsal’s top flight, had suffered a tibia (shinbone) fracture, both teams had to field a reserve goalkeeper.
On the bright side, the men’s football team did win something: the Fair Play Award, for their continuing optimism and cheerfulness.
The European Universities (EU) Games are held every two years. This year, the tournament took place in the Croatian cities of Zagreb and Rijeka. For 15 days, around 5,000 students from 45 countries and 300 universities competed for medals in 21 different sports. The competitors included 56 sportsmen and women from Erasmus University Rotterdam.