Paul DRINKHALL forgot bad experience from Swedish openPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
2016 ITTF-European Olympic Games Qualification Tournament
The member of the medal winning team at the PERFECT World Championships in Malaysia Paul DRINKHALL beat Florent LAMBIET at the opening day of the 2016 ITTF-European Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Swedish city of Halmstad.
The victory did not come easy. Englishman overcame young Belgium’s player by the very narrowest of margins.
“Two years ago Florent beat me at the Swedish open, but we played three or four matches at that time in Belgium’s League. He is very tough adversary. Today I was on the top of the game most of the time. I gave him to many balls, by making easy mistakes, not so easy but unusual for me. I was not afraid in close situation, because I always felt I am controlling the game,” said DRINKHALL.
Emmanuel LEBESSON of France beat Lubomir PISTEJ of Slovakia to underline his status.
“When you see the match ended in straight games, it looks like the easy one, but this one was not. In two previous occasions I lost against PISTEJ and I was deeply unhappy when I saw the draw. However, my service game was very good today; he failed to find the answer. Good start gave me decent advantage,” said LEBESSON.
LEBESSON became the father during the World Championships month ago in Malaysia.
“It happened just before our quarterfinal match. Emotionally, the birth of my son was very big moment for me. After Championships I took some time of to be with the family. I did not make a long break, but for sure my focus was also on my family.”
Alvaro ROBLES of Spain joined him at he today’s winners list by beating Matiss BURGIS of Latvia.
“I was very cautious, because I have not seen Matiss BURGIS playing for a long time. I had been seeing him in Bundesliga playing two years ago, but after that he disappeared. I did not know what to expect. I started very good from the beginning of the match and I managed to be in front in every game. It paid off,” explained Alvaro ROBLES.
Alvaro praised the conditions in Ochsenhausen that helped him being ready for the challenge in the Halmstad.
“We are working in excellent condition throughout the year; a lot of matches and tournaments also help me being in good shape. However we have been in the full speed in recent period to get ready for Qualifications.
Jakub DYJAS of Poland also faced few very hard moments against Pavel PLATONOV of Belarus.
“Last time we meet at the World Championships in Malyasia and I beat PLATONOV 3:0. Before this match I knew it would not go that easy. It proved right; it was much harder. I suffered from lack of confidence at the beginning, but I did not let get it on my way. I built up the confidence, by improving my game point by point. My service was also very bad at the beginning, but I changed it. It disturbed PLATONOV’s rhythm; he started to struggle with his blocks.”