SAMARA hope to beat the bad record in PortugalPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup
For a seventh time Elizabeta SAMARA of Romania will play at the ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup, but for a first time, she will came at the most prestigious tournament in Europe, as a crowned European singles champion. The winner of the title in October at the LIEBHERR 2015 European Championships, SAMARA will try to beat the bad record she had in past few seasons.
At the 2016 ITTF-Europe Top 16 Cup to be staged in Gondomar, Portugal from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th February, seeded no. two will face fierce competition.
"I will give my best to avoid the scenario from two previous occasions. In Baku and in Lausanne I failed to win the match. Those were really bad tournaments for me. For sure there is no lack of experience and European title gives me enough confidence, but this is very hard Event, where you cannot find easy matches," stated SAMARA.
In The Women's Event the top seed is Petrissa SOLJA of Germany. Also will play HU Melek of Turkey, reigning champion LIU Jia of Austria, Georgina POTA (Hungary), followed by Tetyana BILENKO (Ukraine), SHEN Yanfei (Spain), Polina MIKHAILOVA (Russia), Sabine WINTER (Germany), WU Jiaduo (Germany), Sofia POLCANOVA (Austria), NI Xialian (Luxembourg), Kristin SILBEREISEN (Germany), Bernadette SZOCS (Romania) and Leila OLIVEIRA (Portugal).
"Judging from recent performances, LI Qian, LI Jie and LI JIao who canceled the arrival, were in good shape. However their withdrawal will not ease the way to much. Peti is in very good shape and every adversaries there, are not to be underestimated."
SAMARA also had an opportunity to test her form. Similar to the top seeded player in Portugal SOLJA, she lost in the second round against player from Japan. Kasumi ISHIKAWA halted SAMARA's progress, whilst Ito MIMA was better against German star.
" I played in Berlin and I am not very happy with the outcome. I hope it will be better in Portugal."
Season already heat up .
"After preparations in Romania, I had matches in Champions League and in the Turkish Premiership. This is going to be rough season. We have Top 16, World Championships and European Olympic Qualifications. I think we will have some space to catch the breath after June. After we closed the rankings for the Rio 2016; we will gain some space for training and preparation for the Olympic Games. Before that I cannot afford to lose my focus," explained SAMARA.