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Champions League Men - 28 Mar 2013

Chartres to extend historical moment


French champion Chartres ASTT is preparing for its second European final in three consecutive seasons. After 2010/2011 ETTU Cup title and 2011/2012 Men’s European Champions League semis, this time they play in MECL final against reigning champion Fakel Ga

French champion Chartres ASTT is preparing for its second European final in three consecutive seasons. After 2010/2011 ETTU Cup title and 2011/2012 Men’s European Champions League semis, this time they play in MECL final against reigning champion Fakel Gazproma Orenburg (1st leg April 12-15th, rematch April 26-29th).

Semi final success against ten times champion of Old Continent, Borussia Düsseldorf considers as the biggest success ever in Chartres` history. Confirmation comes from its president Loic BREHU:Our qualification in MECL final last Friday at Düsseldorf has been an historical moment for the club. This feeling is shared by everyone in the club, by the coach, players and me personally”.

Singaporean GAO Ning (world’s no. 14) has been provided big advantage after first leg (3:1, 11:5 in sets) winning 3:0 both his games (Patrick BAUM and Timo BOLL). Loic BREHU stressed importance of that. “The advantage from Chartres` game has been a key for our victory, but in fact we feared from the 2nd leg at Düsseldorf. We also want to thank the German spectators, Borussia`s team and staff, who has shown a real sporting spirit to us during that evening, first time for us at that level”.

Chartres showed last year that it has capacity to beat Orenburg. In 2011/2012 semi final, Russian team won 1st away leg 3:2, but in returning game French side led 2:0. Par GERELL beat Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, GAO Ning overcame Vladimir SAMSONOV (both matches in five sets) so Robert GARDOS found himself just one set to close the clash. But Alexey SMIRNOV prevented him and Russians managed to won again 3:2, securing the final.

“Orenburg appears as the favorite. Last year, in the semi final, we already met them; the result was quite tight. We will do our best to use our chances for the finale”, says Loic BREHU.

Chartres has a chance to be first European champion from France since Caen beat Borussia in 1998/1999. Other aim of this club is to defend the national title. First rival on that way is recent MECL semi finalist Pontoise. They will meet in Round 15, on April 2nd (20h00) at Pontoise.

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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