Panagiotis GIONIS replaced STEGER at ITTF Europe Top 16 CupPhoto: ITTF
Player from Germany was forced to withdraw due the injury
Panagiotis GIONIS of Greece will play at the as ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup from 3rd to 5th February in the city of Antibes. Due the injury Bastian STEGER of Germany has cancelled his participation.
“I will travell to France as a substitute, but I am ready. I was the first player below the line and I expected there will be some cancelations, “ explained GIONIS. “ I will do my best to qulify for the World Cup, because last time i did not make it; so now I want to succeed.”
The 2013 European Championships Men`s Singles bronze medalist GIONIS was third at the 2015 Euro Top-16. He was the member of the Greek team at the Olympic Games four times, 16 times he played at the World Championships and 15 times at European Championships .
This year, GIONIS moved to Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki.
“It is a new challenge for me to play in Poland. In the TT Champions League I had a very good performance in the group with six victories and one defeat. In Polish league we are second, but due some injury I failed to play at the top of my game. Generally, the season after Olympics is never easy. The body and the head is not tuned as good as I want and as it should be. It will not stop me to try my best on every tournament with my club and national team.”
Top 16 invited men are Dimitrij OVTCHAROV of Germany, Vladimir SAMSONOV of Belarus, Timo BOLL of Germany,Marcos FREITAS of Portugal, Simon GAUZY of France, Stefan FEGERL of Austria, Tiago APOLONIA of Portugal, Kristian KARLSSON of Sweden, Andrej GACINA of Russia, Mattias KARLSSON of Sweden, Emmanuel LEBESSON of France, KOU Lei of Ukraine, Joao MONTEIRO of Portugal, Alexander SHIBAEV of Russia and Jonathan GROTH of Denmark.
In Women’s Event will play HU Melek of Turkey, Petrissa SOLJA of Germany, Elizabeta SAMARA of Romania, LIU Jia of Austria, LI Jie of Netherlands, LI Qian of Poland, Georgina POTA of Hungary, Matilda EKHOLM of Sweden, Sabine WINTER of Germany, Polina MIKHAILOVA of Russia, Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN of Romania, Sofia POCANOVA of Austria, Viktoria PAVLOVICH of Belarus, Tetyana BILENKO of Ukraine, Kristin SILBEREISEN of Germany and Stephanie LOEUILLETTE of France.
In Portugal’s Gondomar last year, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV clinched the title for the second time in the row - third in his career. He beat Joao MONTEIRO in the final. SHEN Yanfei of Spain, who retired from the international career this year, was the winner of the Women’s Event. European singles Champion HU Melek was second.