World Youth Championships, River Arno, Italy
A FANTASTIC second day performance by Drennan (Youth) Team England earned them a bronze medal in one of the hottest three-hour world championships ever staged.
England coach, Mark Downes, said: “I have never seen a competition like it. In the scorching sun the River Arno fished its head off with carp to 3kg and catfish to 5kg, along with thousands of small catfish, being caught all along the match length.”
England had hoped they could topple the home team with an attacking approach to the River Arno, but the Italians produced a stunning performance over two-days, returning two anglers with a perfect score of two points, two with three points and one with five points.
It was a breathtaking score which earned them seven section wins out of a possible ten and five anglers in the top eight, and it secured them the world crown.
With an outstanding score of seven points on day one, Italy were seven points ahead of Hungary (14) and third placed France (31). Belgium were fourth with 36 and England fifth with 37 points.
“We acknowledged that Italy and Hungary were too far ahead for us to catch them and our only chance of collecting a medal was to leapfrog Belgium and France,” said Downes.
“We had a very serious team talk and the lads went out on the second day in a positive frame of mind and finished second with 21 points.
“it was a remarkable performance which was only bettered by Italy, who scored an incredible eight points.”
Eighteen-year-old Peter Thomas from Doddinghurst, Essex spearheaded the England revival by landing 29.400kg of catfish to add to his previous days catch of 18.340kg – a total weight of 47.740 kg which earned him seventh individual spot with five points.
Lewis Murawski (17) from Littleport, Cambs recorded 38.360kg for nine points and 13th place; Huddersfield’s James Mead snatched the 20th place with 28.240kg; and a net bulging second day catch of 32.250kg (second in his section) earned Craig Reed, Doncaster, 29th position with a total of 44.450kg worth 14 points. Andrew Pickersgill from Worksop gained 19 points for his catch of 27.400kg earning 40th place.
The individual champion was Fabio Tesconi from Italy with a perfect score of two points from a total 47.280kg catch. Team mate Michele Greci also returned a perfect score but lost out on weight.
The bronze medal went to Gyula Katus, Hungary, with a total catch of 55.540kg, the highest two-day weight recorded, for three points.
The NFA’s International Events Manager, Dick Clegg OBE, said: “This was a great World Championship event with two competitors finishing with a perfect score of two points and the top six individuals landing a total catch of 292.100 kg – an average of 48.683kg per angler in two days!
“This is fantastic competition fishing and the question needs to be asked. Like us, Italy is in the European Union, but they can stage major competitions on a number of rivers, which will guarantee top level catches.
“Why can’t we find ONE river worthy of hosting an International event? This is a serious question to the Environment Agency who should be deeply embarrassed by this weekend’s results in Italy.”
World Youth Championships, River Arno, Calcinaia, Italy, Saturday and Sunday, July 27/28, 18 teams fished.
Teams: 1 Italy, 15pts; 2 Hungary, 41; 3 England, 58; 4 France, 62; 5 Portugal, 67; 6 Spain, 73; 7 Belgium, 80.
Inidividual: 1 Fabio Tesconi, Italy, 47.280kg, 2pts; 2 Michele Greci, Italy, 42.260kg, 2; 3 Gyula Katus, Hungary, 55.540kg, 3; 4 Andrea Boni, Italy, 52.560kg, 3; 5 Marco Viadana, Italy, 50.200kg, 3; 6 Laszio Csillag, Hungary, 44.260kg, 4.
7 Peter Thomas, Doddinghurst, Essex, 47.740 kg, 5.
13 Lewis Murawski, Littleport, Cambs: 38.360 kg, 9.
20 James Mead, Huddersfield, 28.240 kg: 11.
29 Craig Reed, Doncaster: 44.450 kg, 14.
40 Andrew Pickersgill, Worksop, Notts, 27.400kg, 19.