European Championships Finals All Set

Lizotte Blomroos Consolidate Leads
By Brian Hoeniger #4022

Friday was moving day at the EDGCs in sunny northern Croatia, with the heat squarely on the players to perform. While some were striving to put themselves in medal contention, the priority for many others was simply to make the 50% plus ties cut line to tomorrow’s finals.

Overnight leader Simon Lizotte stretched his Open division advantage from 2 to 6 by delivering a blemish free 9 down. The exclamation point came on hole 13, a signature 300 meter/990 foot par 5, where the world distance record holder had a remarkable drop in for eagle.

The day’s other big move in MPO came from the 2016 European Junior Champion Väinö Mäkelä, his 51 equalled Simon’s Round 3 score and catapulted Mäkelä from the chase group into 2nd place. More Finns follow, with Seppo Paju and Teemu Nissinen filling tomorrow’s showcase card, 7 and 9 off the pace respectively. Barring Simon stumbling and one of the Finns shooting absolutely lights out, the EDGC gold medal will be placed around Lizotte’s neck tomorrow afternoon for the 2nd time.

Finland’s 2 teenaged flying phenoms stayed well clear of their FPO competitors through 54 holes of play despite struggling more so than the previous days. Henna Blomroos now leads her compatriot Eveliina Salonen by 4 and 3rd place by another 10. Tomorrow we will witness if Henna can secure the biggest win of her young career or if her close friend Eveliina steals the show and claims her 2nd straight Euro title. The final position on the ladies’ podium should emerge from a 5 player skirmish with Estonia’s Kristin Tattar and Czech Republic’s Eva Králova, both tied for 3rd, currently holding the upper hand.

Multi time French champion Sylvain Gouge has put some distance between himself and his closest Masters’ division rivals. At 12 under overall he now leads by 4 over Janne Hirsimäki who was affected by lower back stiffness today. Swedish big arm Markus Källström made up for modest play in Rounds 1 and 2 by turning in the low score in MP40 to date, a 7 down 53 which boosted him into a tie for 3rd with the 2016 Masters champ Anders Swärd, 3 back of 2nd and 7 off the lead.

Among the young guns in MJ18, Czech Republic’s rising star Bohdan Bílek will carry a slim 1 throw advantage into Saturday. Finland’s Oskari Vikström was trailing by 4 with 2 holes to play, before narrowing the gap by going clutch birdie birdie while Bohdan bogeyed 18. Fellow Finn Samuel Stenman and Estonian Maico Rimmel complete tomorrow’s lead card but the battle royale should be waged between Bilek and Vikström. Meanwhile, another teenage Finn is cruising to victory in FJ18, Maria Asikainen’s lead is now 21.

Scandinavians are also at the fore of the other age based divisions. Sweden’s Hans Hasse Tegebäck has all but secured gold in Grandmasters with a 10 throw cushion; the battle for silver and bronze should be decided between Spanish overall Frisbee® aficionado Carlos Rio and Belgium’s Jean-Louis Tanghe. 3 previous winners of European titles will play for the Senior Grand medals, with Suomi’s Markku Tohni currently holding the upper hand over the defending champ Olle Samuelsson and Swiss veteran Paul Francz. Finally, the closest contest is in FPM, where Norwegian Lydie Hellgren, Swiss Miss Natalie Holloköi and Finlander Anna Elo are within a mere 3 shots of each other.

Wherever you are around the world, be sure not to miss tomorrow’s live stream by SpinTV of Holes 15 through 18. FPO coverage will start at approximately 10:45 AM local time (GMT +2) while the MPO climax will kick off around 3:45 PM. Here’s the link to the show.

Event website for lots more info, the event’s Facebook page, DiscGolfmetrix live scoring, and round results and ratings on PDGA.

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