Best players are coming to LuxembourgPhoto: ITTF
LIEBHERR 2017 ITTF European Table Tennis Championships in the „Coque“
Luxembourg can look forward to a really top-notch team event, as the best European players take part from 13th to 17th September at the LIEBHERR 2017 ITTF European Table Tennis Championships. The national associations published their selections six weeks ahead of the start
The men’s event will see 18 of the 20 top players participate. Thus 2015 Vice-European champions Germany start with their elite, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Timo BOLL, ranked 1 and 2 in Europe respectively in August, and the squad being completed by Ruwen Filus (8) and Bastian Steger (14). Portugal, the 2014 European champions, sends its strongest team as well, with Marcos FREITAS (5), Tiago APOLONIA (13) and Joao MONTEIRO (21) all competing. Like in Ekaterinburg in 2015 the Austrian team could be considered underdog, despite Stefan FEGERL (9) and Robert GARDOS (23) proving in Russia that they can defeat any favourite. Sweden also want to have their say for the title with Mattias KARLSSON (6), Kristian KARLSSON (10) and Pär GERELL (19) all ranked in the top 20. France is also a favourites, with Simon GAUZY (4) and European Champion Emmanuel LEBESSON (11).
Host Country Luxembourg looks as clear outsider in the competition where they will play against mighty Sweden, Greece with its top player Panagiotis GIONIS (7) as well as Russia, led by Alexander SHIBAEV (15). In short, Eric GLOD (177), Gilles MICHELY (205), Luka MLADENOVIC (211), Traian CIOCIU (233 Feb 16) and Marc DIELISSEN (360) can only gain experience in this setup.
Likewise, in the ladies’ team event, only the best take part: according to the August ranking, Germany fields the strongest team: the first two, Ying HAN (1) and Xiaona SHAN (2) participate, Petrissa SOLJA (7) and Sabine WINTER (14) likewise, so that Germany, European champions the last three times, is definitely the strongest team on paper. The women’s event will see the best players of Europe too with LI Jie (NED/3), LIU Jia (AUT/4), Melek HU (TUR/5), Elizabeta SAMARA (ROU/6), Georgina POTA (HUN/8), Matilda EKHOLM (SWE/9) und YU Fu (10) from Portugal.
Unlike their male counterparts, the Luxembourg ladies’ team stand a good chance in the group event: NI Xia Lian (18), Sarah de NUTTE (44), Tessy GONDERINGER (118), Danielle KONSBRUCK (137) and Egle TAMAUSKAITE (139) were absolutely inspiring in Ekaterinburg with victories against Belarus and Sweden, obtaining 13th rank among 31 nations. Thus, in group B, the host team will face Romania with Elizabeta Samara (6) and Bernadette SZOCS (19); the Czech Republic with Iveta VACENOVSKA (24) and Hana MATELOVA (32) as well as the Netherlands with their top player LI Jie (3) and Britt EERLAND (23).
Therefore, the very group-phase will guarantee thrilling and top-level games.....