Slovenia secured first ever medal at the European ChampionshipsPhoto: Rémy Gros ITTF
In the powerful style, against the 14 time title winners at the Old Continent, Slovenia booked first ever medal at the LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships. In the Men’s Teams Event quarterfinal, Bojan TOKIC, Darko JORGIC and Deni KOZUL overcame Sweden 3:2 to claim their place in the top 4. Tomorrow they will meet six-times winners Germany.
Experienced Bojan TOKIC gave Slovenia dream start with the victory over Anton KALLBERG. Mattias KARLSSON and Kristian KARLSSON responded and overcame JORGIC and KOZUL. However, once again Bojan was at the top of the game. He leveled the maters and once again in Luxembourg, Slovenia faced decisive match. It was young JORGIC who showed that has the patience for the nervous wrecking finishes. In the fifth match he beat Par GERELL.
“By now, we were always far from the top division at the European championships; we were playing in lower one. This is huge success for us. The way we achieved makes us even more pride. It did not come easy and we were far from the lucky draw. In our group we had two former champions Austria and Portugal. It has been tremendous journey so far. It was fantastic that we passed the group,” said TOKIC.
European medalist in singles, TOKIC, has the experience in the edgy matches, but youngster showed they are mature for the big results as well.
“Darko won three out of three decisive matches at this Championships. Now, he beat GERELL, he overcame GARDOS and PISTEJ in Group satges. That is a really brave effort,” added TOKIC.
Instead of KALLBERG, who lost first match, in the decisive match coach BLOMQUIST introduced GERELL who is famous for his good service game. Unfortunately for Sweden it was JORGIC who controlled the game with his service game.
“I was ready to play against KALLBERG and GERELL was a surprise for me. I had never played against him. In addition I do not like very much to play against lefthanders. I had 25 minutes to prepare. Coach gave me good advices and I watched you tube video,” said JORGIC.
The sky is the limit now?
“Unfortunately, I think Germany is the limit. They are big favorites here,” said TOKIC.
Germany overcame Ukraine in straight matches. Timo BOLL overcame KOU Lei in the opening match and Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Ruwen FILIUS followed the path to the success.
“Timo did a good job at the beginning. At that point we broke Ukraine’s spirit. That was very important,” said OVTCHAROV.
Timo added: “We are still very far from the title. So far I am satisfied. KOU Lei is a strong adversary and I am happy with my victory and the way I kept everything under control.”