The strongest teams of women pétanque world played first time in the Czech Republic.
Tournament in Lipno with the world best players won by Thailand
Czech pétanque federation (ČAPEK) together with the organization from the association „Pétanque for you“ had the pleasure to invite 8 best women pétanque teams for the „4th Confederations Cup“ in pétanque 2016. It was a big festival of pétanque in the Olympic Park „Rio-Lipno“ and next to the Wellness hotel Frymburk. Among the best teams there were Thailand, France, Tunisia, Spain, Madagascar, Germany, China and Czech Republic.
The Olympic Park Rio-Lipno was an official event of the Czech Olympic Committee. After a succes of the same event during winter Olympic games 2014 in Sochi, this project was renewed and realized in the touristic center of the Southern Bohemia. During the whole period of the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro there were all the olympic sports in the park. The visitors could have tried all the disciplines with the help of professionals, they could support the teams and individuals on a large screen or just pass a pleasant day with all the attractions organized by the partners of the olympic sports. This park was officially visited by 350.000 people between 5.8. and 21.8.!
Pétanque was a part of the Olympic Park Rio-Lipno as a candidate sport for the Olympic Games 2024. The volunteers from the Czech pétanque federation were explaining the rules, organized tournaments and the pétanque pitch was practically full all the time with all generations of pétanque players. On two pitches there were regular tournaments for the public and exhibitions. Couple of thousands of people participated on these events. Czech pétanque helped in this way to the world campaign „Boules 2024“. It mainly meant an important improvement in the image of pétanque as a sport which is not always easy in the countries where there is not such a strong tradition of pétanque.
The highlight of the pétanque presentation was of course „4th Confederations Cup 2016“ which took place between August 12 and 14, 2016. One match of each round was played in the Olympic park. The rest was played next to the Wellness Hotel Frymburk. Just read the names of the semi-finalists of Women 4th Confederations Cup in pétanque and you can be sure that Pétanque for You organized something really exceptionnal – World Champions from Spain with actual World Champion in tete-a-tete Yolanda Matarranz against one of the best teams in a long term – France with Angélique Colombet-Papon or Audrey Bandiera. Champions of Africa from Tunisia with vice-champion of shooting Mouna Beiji against Champions of Asia and World vice-champions from Thailande with „ queen of Asia“ Thongsri Tamakord - with 15 medals from World Championships (7 of them gold ones). Among the teams who did ont pass the quarter-final you might find for example Madagascar with Fandja Aubiriot, currently number one in women´s classification in France.
Saturday´s matches in Frymburk and commented matches for the public in the Olympic Park Rio-Lipno were just a preparation for fantastic semi-finals on Sunday. Everybody must have liked the attractive doublettes of France against Spain. In the end the players played practically without mistakes. Carreau followed another carreau and the players awarded with a smile and high five even the opponents. France saved three games in a row with shooted cochonet but in the last game they missed a ball with a shoot and instead of 12-12 the Spanish won the match. Neverthless after 3 matches France was qualified to the final and the Spanish after lost all the matches against Tunisia for the bronze medals. Thailande won all the matches in the final and it was a big celebration of pétanque. If somebody thought that women pétanque in not so attractive then he had to change his mind after the final. In the triplettes the French were leading 4-0 but after in one game they lost by 6 points (yes, it can happen even to such excellent players). Not many mistakes and if some had appeared then the adversory fully profited from that. The final ceremony took place on the main stage of the Olympic Park Rio-Lipno and the winners had the right to sign a volley-ball ball and throw or kick it into the pubic. Czech television made and interesting reportage and passed it in the Olympic magazine. In this shot appeared also Angélique Colombet and Thongsri Tamakord. The three best teams have received remarkable cups from czech company Preciosa – the official supplier of cup of Tour de France.
We thank to all the participants for excellent game and especially for fantastic presentation of pétanque among other sports. We believe to have soon such an opportunity to see again top competition in pétanque in the Czech republic.
A funny detail at the end? In the tournaments it´s frequent that players are not very happy with the terrain – for some it´s too easy and for the others too difficult…but here nobody complained it! And what more – the main referee Jean-Luc Fuentes took a sample of it in order to find an equivalent for a new boulodrome in Monaco. None of czech pitches can say to have such an honour!
Now you have one more reason to come to the biggest czech indoor boulodrome in the brewery of Únětice (near Prague) – you can see there the banner of the 4th Condederations cup signed by all the players, coaches and referees!