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European Olympic Singles Qualification - 7 Jul 2012

Ideal training in Karpenisi


In the excellent climate of Karpenisi, in western Greece and in the excellent facilities of the Hotel Spa Montana, Greek, Serbian and Egyptian champions works already for six days in the training camp. The Greek international Kallinikos KREANGA, Panagioti

In the excellent climate of Karpenisi, in western Greece and in the excellent facilities of the Hotel Spa Montana, Greek, Serbian and Egyptian champions works already for six days in the training camp. The Greek international Kallinikos KREANGA, Panagiotis GIONIS, Serb Aleksandar KARAKASEVIC, Marco JEVTOVIC and Egyptians Omar ASAR, El Said LASIN, Ahmed SALEH, who will take part in the Olympic Games, participating along with their coaches and three other Greek national team members (Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU, Kostas LAGOGIANNIS, Tasos RINIOTIS) in strong coaching camp, which will end on July 10. The preparation continues in strong pace and without problems. Double sessions every day, plus one day of running and fitness and weights the other day.

At the same time local media also showed their interest. Apart from the fact that Kallinikos KREANGA and Panagiotis GIONIS grabbed a lot of the attention, there was no lack of interest for the foreign athletes, especially the current bronze European medalist in singles and doubles Aleksandar KARAKASEVIC. People from the media has visited three times the facility and made a reports and photos, while at the Thursday evening we were present at the hotel mini-press conference! Apart from the two Greek champions, opportunity to talk gets three coaches of Greece, Egypt and Serbia and one athlete from Egypt and Serbia. Everybody expressed their satisfaction with the conditions in Montana and the city, but also emphasized the quality of work in camp.

Κallinikos KREANGA (Greece): “We have very good preparations, room, with good hotel and ideal conditions for every one. Unfortunately it came little late this year. All the preparation should started a little earlier. But we are on track and in 20 days the games begin. I think we are ready for London. It is the fifth time that I participate in the Olympic Games. So far I reached twice the 9th place. I’m going to be as good or even better» Panagiotis GIONIS (Greece): “We use excellent conditions of Karpenisi in the last stage of our preparation, approximately 20 days before leaving for London. It is great pleasure for us, and we have some foreign athletes who help us and we help them. In London, I will play in singles. The target set by an athlete is to reach as high position as he can. Compared to my previous participation at the Olympic Games, maybe I have more chances of something good. Of course, many things will be important; how I will feel in that moment, outcome of the draw. Sure I want to do something better than the previous times, I had reached Round of 32″.

Kostas VATSAKLIS (Greek national coach): “We feel Montana like the second home. The conditions are ideal and I do not speak only for the hotel, the staff is very friendly; also here we have good climate, atmosphere and temperature. Everything is perfect. I like to think that in London the table tennis will worthily represent the entire Greek nation and all the Greeks. Last summer they had added to our potential in Karpenisi two foreign athletes, one Chinese and one Frenchman, who helped with their great quality. This year we have come to the best athletes of Egypt, representing the African continent at the Olympic Games and the best Serbian athletes. Certainly the level is very high, professional coaching moves in orbit. I believe that everything will go well until the end”.

Aleksandar KARAKASEVIC (Serbia): “I am doing my best to be ready for the Olympics. I am very happy to be here with the Greek national team and hopefully this is not the last time that will prepare together for an event. I want to say that hospitality in the hotel is really great, better even than we had in Serbia. Of course I remember all the Olympics for some specific reason. The first time that I attended, in Atlanta, I was very young and it was very good experience. I will never forget Athens because for one point I lost the medal in doubles. In London I hope not to do the same and have a good result. But it depends if I have a good draw, it all depends on the draw. China I left happy with my result”.

Boris VUKELIC (Serbia): “It is the first time we are here. All managers of the hotel are nice and make us feel like we’re home. Everything here is perfect and I can properly prepare my players to show up in proper condition at the Olympics”.

Omar ASAR (Egypt): “We chose Karpenisi for our preparation, because the altitude plays a big role. The ball is not so easily changed. It is one of the best five places that we used and we liked it very much. We had heard that Greece has very good players and it helps us to improve our game”.

Asur METZENT (Egypt coach): “We chose this place because it is the altitude and climate is good here in Greece and we loved it. We hope to do well in London. We had some injuries at first, but slowly players recovered and we are on track. At the Olympic Games I do not think we can win a medal, but we will do everything we can. “

(by G. FAKAROS)

Photo: Greek, Serbian and Egyptian players at work in Karpenisi

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