Italy Repeat as Olympiad Champs

Italy: once again World Bridge Olympiad winners
The Netherlands: Olympiad silver medallists

ITALY repeated their triumph of 2002 and were once again awarded the gold medal at the world's most populous competition for national teams. This came as the result of Italy's beating the young team of The Netherlands in the 128-board final, 310-251. The bronze medal went to Russia who beat China in the playoff, 106-83.

The victorious Italian team comprised Norberto Bocchi, Giorgio Duboin, Fulvio Fantoni, Lorenzo Lauria, Claudio Nunes and Alfredo Versace with npc Maria Tereza Lavazza and coach Massimo Ortensi. With the exception of Nunes and Fantoni, this is the same team that had won the gold medal for Italy in the 2000 Olympiad in Maastricht.

Overall, this is the fifth gold medal for Italy at a World Team Olympiad out of a total of 12 competitions! Second in the list follows France (4 victories), and then come USA, Poland and Brazil with one victory each.

With this victory, Lorenzo Lauria overtook Bob Hamman for the no 1 spot on the WBF masterpoints list. Hamman had held the top spot since 1985.

The Women series was won by RUSSIA who made a surprising performance, beating an experienced USA team in the final, 271-259. This was the first ever world gold bridge medal for Russia, and was achieved thanks to Olga Galaktionova, Victoria Gromova, Natalia Karpenko, Maria Lebedeva, Tatiana Ponomareva, Irina Vasilkova with npc Alexey Efremov. The bronze medal went to England.

In the World Transnational Mixed Teams, Sabine Auken, Zia Mahmood, Catherine D’Ovidio and Paul Chemla easily dispatched the Batov team from Bulgaria in the final, 173-82.

In the World University Teams Championship, POLAND had a big win in their last match to grab victory. Belgium earned the silver medal, and USA took the bronze.

ISTANBUL, the historic city laying on two continents, was the site of the 12th World Team Olympiad which will go on record as a very well organized event. 73 countries took part in the competition, represented by 144 teams in the main events: the open, women and senior series for national teams of the WBF member countries. The event took place at the Grand Cevahir Hotel and Convention Centre, from October 23 to November 6, 2004.

Two more events took place in Istanbul on the second week of the Olympiad. These were the 2nd World University Bridge Team Championship and the 3rd World Transnational Mixed Teams Championship.

For detailed information on past events, see the World Olympiad section or the sites of the particular competitions.

Please note that the Press Room during the Bridge Olympiad in Istanbul can be contacted by
phone at +90 212 222 3964 and fax at +90 212 210 6825



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