The three teams representing Italy at the IFAF European Junior Flag Football Championships in Grosetto are all unbeaten and all lead their respective groups after the first day of action.
More than 400 young athletes from 12 nations have jumped into action at Fattoria La Principina, playing for U17 titles in boys’ and girls’ competitions and for the first time a U15 tournament featuring a mixed competition for athletes of both genders.
In Group A of the boys’ U17 tournament, Italy and Great Britain both boast a 2-0 record and their next game will be against each other at 10.30am CET on Saturday to take over top spot in the standings. Italy opened with a 33-12 win over France and then saw off Czechia 42-14. GB beat Slovakia 31-6 and France 32-19. Third place in the group after day one belongs to the Netherlands (1-1) while France and Slovakia are looking for their first win after two games.
High-scoring Israel lead Group B at 3-0 having fired 127 total points in wins over Austria, Germany and Ukraine, while unbeaten Serbia (2-0) beat Austria and Czechia to claim second place Israel and Serbia meet in the group’s final game at 4.45pm CET on Saturday for what could be the first-place decider. Czechia (1-1) sits in third place narrowly ahead of Ukraine (1-1) on points differential, followed by winless Germany and Austria.
In the single-table girls’ U17 competition, Italy beat Israel by one score and shut out Germany for a 2-0 record and are ahead of Great Britain (2-1), who won their first two matches before falling to Israel, and Austria (2-1). Italy’s next two games are against the second and third-placed teams on Saturday at 9.15am and 3.30pm.
In the U15 mixed division, a development that reflects flag football’s highly inclusive nature in line with trends for greater integration of male and female athletes in international sport, Italy also holds an advantage after day one.
Italy leads Group D 2-0, a record mirrored in Group C by both Great Britain and Finland. Group D is a close contest with each team having recorded at least one win. Czechia and Germany both sit at 1-1, followed by the Netherlands and Israel at 1-2. In Group C, GB and Finland are trailed by Austria (1-1), Serbia (0-2) and France (0-2).
Photos: Giulio Busi and Germano Capponi
IFAF Press Office