Romania and Germany, Ekaterinburg’s finalists secured medals againPhoto: Rémy Gros ITTF
In the semi final of the Women’s Teams Event at the LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships Germany will meet Netherlands, whilst Romania will play against Russia. In quarterfinal, reigning champions beat Poland in straight matches, whilst runners up from Ekaterinburg, Romania, prevailed against Portugal by the same margin.
Germany is on the good track to defend the title again. They are on the mission to continue the row that started in Schwechat. After 2013, they succeeded to the title in 2014 and 2015. Poland, today showed no power to stop them.
“On paper it looks like the easy win, but for us it was challenging task. It was not easy for me to play against LI Qian. She is very good against the players with the defensive style of play,” explained HAN Ying. “I had to be patient. The umpires asked us before, if we wanted to play according to the expedite system, but both of us declined. Only the first set seemed to be too slow. In the second set I used a more offensive tactic, which helped me to win a close game.”
Against Netherlands they expects a hard match.
“A semi-final is a different game, we have to be at our best if we want to win. Especially, because the Dutch women are playing an excellent tournament so far. We have to be well prepared. “
SHAN Xiaona overcame Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA-FRANC whilst Nina MITTELHAM overcame Natalia PARTYKA .
Another straight match victory launched Romania to the semis, but Portugal did not went down easy. Daniela DODEAN MONTEIRO was stretched to full distance against YU Fu; it was the same in the duel between Elizabeta SAMARA and SHAO Jieni. Bernadette SZOCS beat Leila OLIVIERA.
“The crucial match was between Daniela and YU, it was 2:2 and Daniela was down 5:9, but she recovered to win. In my match I repeated the mistakes I always do with SHAO. I played good at the start and then I eased the pressure and let her took the control. However it ended well, because generally I played good. I am also happy with the performance of the whole team. We all one points and that is important for all of us. It boosted our self-confidence before the closing stages. We are ready for the gold now,” said SAMARA.
In recent history the Romanian team clinched silver in 2015, 2013, 2011 and 2010.