Maria MALANINA: It is inspiration for our generationPhoto: ITTF
STAG European Under 21 Championships
One of the main Russia’s aces in their pursuit for the medal at the inaugural STAG European Under 21 Championships is Maria MALANINA. The competition starts on Thursday and gathered the best player from the Old Continent. Maria will face enormous challenge in the duels against already established stars as Adina DIACONU of Romania, Nina MITTELHAM of Germany…
MALANINA knows how to win the medals for sure. Already, she clinched gold medal in Junior Girls Doubles Event with Daria CHERNORAY in 2015 at the European Youth Championships in Bratislava, she is Junior Girls` Singles runner-up at 2015 Spanish Junior & Cadet Open - ITTF Junior Circuit in Platja d'Aro, Junior Girls` Singles bronze winner at 2014 Italian Junior & Cadet Open - ITTF Premium Junior Circuit in Lignano …
In last few weeks the Russia’s team was in full swing. They work hard to be ready for the challenge at the home soil.
“I think we are ready to show our full potential in Sochi. I went for a short trip to Budapest, but it was the part of the process. Now we are at the finish of training camp and pretty much ready to go,” explained MALANINA.
- Is Sochi a special place for such big event?
“For sure. This is beautiful city and one of the most developed centers of Russia in terms of sport infrastructure. It came to no surprise that this event was granted to Sochi. “
- How important is to host the inaugural tournament in Russia?
“It is very important, because it shows that ETTU believe in development of our program. I hope that we will inspire new generation with our play. Table tennis is a popular sport in Russia, but I think we could do even better.”
- Who are your main rivals?
“You can name a lot of them. Romanian girls are very strong and definitely will be at the top of the list. Nina MITTELHAM is one of those favorites. But this is big tournament, everything could happen, so you got to be prepare for every opponent.”
- And what about Russian team?
“ We will do our best in front of our fans. I think you should really consider the power of our roster also. Three girls, including me, are seeded in Top 10 and I hope that it will be reflected in our performance.”
- Any wishes before the tournament?
“I wish everybody a good luck and happy time in Sochi. Hope the tournament will be a huge success for participants and for the city!”