World Youth Championships - U16s finish in 8th, U26s in 15th

The main events have reached a conclusion for our teams in the World Youth Team Championships in Italy, with the Under 16s finishing in 8th and the Under 26s in 15th.

The Under 16s (referred to as 'kids' on the event website) played the Netherlands in the 7th-8th play-off on Day 6 of the event, and took a good lead after the first session. They lost a very 'swingy' second set to fall behind narrowly with 14 boards to play, and the Dutch team pulled away in the final session to claim the 7th place. The team should be very pleased with their performance, however, given their lack of experience at this level. To win more than half of their matches in the round robin phase on their first appearance on the world stage was an excellent achievement. NPC Sarah O'Connor has reported that the team remained in high spirits throughout the event, and have thoroughly enjoyed the competition. With so many years as junior players ahead of them, let's hope it is the first of many good performances from this group.

The Under 26s ('juniors' on the event website) won one of their final three matches, so remained in midtable. Whilst the finishing position will be disappointing, their NPC has reported that they have played much better than their scores have suggested - for example, he has lost count of the number of 'anti-percentage' grand slams that have been made against the team. It is also worth noting that despite finishing 15th their score was closer to the team in the 8th qualifying spot than it was to the team in 18th. They will now play in a consolation event for teams not progressing to the knock-out stage, so will hope to get their share of the luck this time, and compete for some silverware.

The NPCs are reporting from the event - you can read their blogs here - and also check our social media accounts (which is perhaps more fitting for a junior event) for news and photos from Italy.

Under 26s: Shivam Shah & Freddie Illingworth; Alex Roberts & Ankush Khandelwal; Ben Norton & Yvonne Wiseman; NPC: Alan Shillitoe; Coach: Jon Cooke
Under 16s: Harry Madden & Oscar Selby; Jasmine Bakhshi & Liz Gahan; Megan Jones & Henry Rose; NPC: Sarah O’Connor; Coach: Mike Bell

Under 16Under 26
Mon 8th, 09:0013Indonesia
13.48 ‑ 6.52
9.34 ‑ 10.66
Mon 8th, 12:30KO1USA
33 ‑ 38
16.55 ‑ 3.45
Mon 8th, 14:50KO2USA
7 ‑ 15
3.97 ‑ 16.03
Mon 8th, 17:10KO3USA
29 ‑ 48
19.28 ‑ 0.77
Tue 9th, 09:007/8PO1Netherlands
37 ‑ 9
19USA 2
2.23 ‑ 17.77
Tue 9th, 12:307/8PO2Netherlands
31 ‑ 72
10.66 ‑ 9.34
Tue 9th, 14:507/8PO3Netherlands
42 ‑ 51
3.97 ‑ 16.03
Position8 / 1415 / 22
Score111 - 132