Europe’s top player, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, has spoken of his good memories of the Europe Youth Top 10 as England prepares to host this year’s edition of the event.

The German legend remembers his first experience of the tournament, when he finished seventh, as giving him “hope and strength for the future”.

He went on to win the event in both 2005 and 2006 – when it was a Top 12 – in the early years of a career which has brought multiple medals at European, World and Olympic level.

He adds:

This was actually the first big tournament I ever won and gave me confidence for further tournaments. You play against all the best players from Europe and I think it’s even tougher to win that one than the Europeans.

For me I would say it was one of my most favourite tournaments.

Listen to more from Dimitrij Ovtcharov by clicking the play button below:

Another European legend, Vladimir Samsonov, is also a former winner of the Europe Youth Top 12.

He said:

In my youth (many many years ago!)  the Junior Top 12 was the most important competition after the Junior European Championships.

Of course, we all wanted to win it very much and had special preparations – great tournament and an amazing experience for participants and spectators.