Germany did it third time in the rowPhoto: Elena ELISEEVA
In the final of the 2015 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships Germany overcame Romania to clinch the title
Germany defended their title clinched 11 months earlier in Lisbon. For a third time in the row Germany is at the top of the Continent. At the final stage of the Women’s Team event at the 2015 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships the Germany trio of HAN Ying, SHAN Xiaona and Petrissa SOLJA beat Romania.
World’s no 11 HAN Ying, in the opening game against player ranked at the position no. 63, Bernadette SZOCS made advantage 9:6, before in good run Bernadette leveled and reached set ball first. HAN responded the challenge and patiently closed the game. In the second game, Bernadette simply cannot find the way to go trough HAN’s superb defense. German player left her with only one point. Unfortunately for Romania, the scene repeated in the next game as well 3:0 (12:10, 11:1, 11:1).
In the match SHAN Xiaona vs. Elizabeta SAMARA the meters also went according to rankings. SHAN, ranked seven paces above SAMARA who is currently at position no. 21, was better in very close finishes of the two opening games. In third, she established quick lead at 5:0 and soon sealed the game and match 3:0 (12:10, 12:10, 11:5).
“After she lost two very close games, I think, that SAMARA was little bit disappointed. She lost her rhythm and there were no more danger in her game,” explained coach Jie SHOPP.
Petrissa SOLJA secured two games lead at the beginning of the match against Daniela DODEAN MONTEIRO, but Romanian player was back on her feet in third one. She recovered and won two close games to prolong the match to thrilling fifth game. Eventually in the decisive game SOLJA prevailed 3:2 (11:8, 11;6, 8:11, 8:11, 11:9).
“I already saw myself with the gold medal after the second game, and suddenly I could not play any more. Everything what I tried failed. It was only the fifth game when I recovered. Now, I am even happier with 3:2 victory” explained SOLJA.
SHAN reflected about the tournament.
“It was not that easy against Romania, but for sure most difficulties we experienced in the matches against Austria; especially me since I lost against POLCANOVA. Also, it was very difficult to play against Russia. They played well above their usual level in front of the frantic crowd,” explained SHAN.
SOLJA also added: "We had huge respect for Romania. The line-ups helped us. I have played once against Dodean and lost. The chances were fifty-fifty. I believe that we can succeed a series like our men’s team. We are always the hunted team, but we can handle it very good so far.”