The 4th PCU International University Tennis Tournament (PIUTT) – in support of the Olympic principles of Fair Play and Universal Friendship – was held from 18 to 20 October in Moscow at the CSKA Tennis Palace. The Tournament is organized by University of Antwerp (Belgium), Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation and Dubna State University (Russia) and endorsed by the Committee of Panathlon Clubs of Universities (PCU Committee). The high status of this tournament is evidenced by the fact that the Panathlon International is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and is the global leader in sport ethics.
This year, students from Belgium, the UK, Russia, Rwanda, Slovenia and South Africa, as well as representatives of the USA University participated in the tournament. This tournament was a platform where students from all over the world had the opportunity to not only participate in tennis competitions but also become part of the Fair Play movement to promote the idea of Fair Play and the Olympic principles of solidarity and friendship, as well as gain experience of international interaction through sports.
In total, 16 boys and 8 girls took part in the tournament.
The students of the following universities took part in the PCU International University Tennis
- University of Antwerp (Belgium)
- Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation (Russia)
- Dubna State University (Russia)
- University of Essex (UK)
- University of Maribor (Slovenia)
- Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism (Russia)
- National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia)
- Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (Russia)
- Distant Production House University (USA)
On October 18, at the PIUTT Opening Ceremony, the participants were greeted by the Vice-Rector for International Cooperation of the Financial University Alexander Linnikov, representatives of Dubna State University, PCU Committee President Peter Verboven and Secretary General of the PCU Committee, His Excellency Ambassador Anicet Gabriel Kotchofa. The PIUTT President, Honorary Rector of the University of Antwerp Francis baron Van Loon, officially opened the tournament and made the draw.
The tennis competitions took place on the courts of the CSKA Tennis Palace on October 19 and 20. Within two days 48 matches consisting of one set with a tie-break were played. Players showed a high level of tennis and respected each other and the principles of Fair Play. For example, a player corrected the referee’s (wrong) call on a correct serve by his opponent. His fair behavior was honored with stormy applause.
When the final matches of the tournament approached, the level of the games became higher and higher. There were spectacular matches at a professional. The quarter final match between Roman Kudryashov (Financial University and PIUTT 2018 Champion) and Tino Kovacic (University of Maribor) and the semifinal match between Ivan Mikhaylyuk (Volga Region State Academy) and Daniel Burnashev (Financial University) were especially exciting. Applause was heard after almost every point. In the final games, the bronze medal remained with the host university (Financial University) thanks to the victory of Daniel Burnashev with a score of 6:3; silver went to Volga Sport Academy student Ivan Mikhaylyuk; gold was won by Slovenian student Tino Kovacic (University of Maribor) with a score of 6:0.
In the women’s finals, last year’s winner, Maria Daniels Sierra (Financial University) returned from trailing 4:1 and won 6:4 against Gulnara Nazarova (Volga Region State Academy). The third place in the women’s singles was also taken by the host university (Financial University): Anna Lytneva won 7:5 in a tense set with a tie-break against Slovenian player Barbora Belis (University of Maribor).
At the Closing Ceremony, all players were awarded medals, certificates and souvenirs. Most importantly, the participants made friends, supported each other in the tournament and played fair, following the rules of sports ethics and respecting the opponent.
The results of the PIUTT Participants voting for the Honorable commendation in the Antwerp University & Panathlon Drawing Contest were also announced at the Closing ceremony. The exposition of the 15 artworks from the student all over the world was an excellent addition to the tournament and cultural program. The voters’ choice is the painting “Union”, made by Francisca Ojeda (Liceo Experimental Artístico, Chile).
Generally, the PCU International University Tennis Tournament is a unique platform on which sport, education and culture blends, thereby embodying the fundamental principles of Olympism.
More information about the match results of the PIUTT 2019 can be found on the official website of the tournament: http://pcucommittee.com/piutt-tennis/competitions/.
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