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European Veterans Championships - 31 May 2013

First title goes to Eliska KREJCOVA


Ladies first – in Bremen this goes out especially to the more mature years. The women over 85 are the first category at the European Veterans Championships who meets their champion in singles. Eliska KREJCOVA is the expected winner. The multiple medallist

Ladies first – in Bremen this goes out especially to the more mature years. The women over 85 are the first category at the European Veterans Championships who meets their champion in singles. Eliska KREJCOVA is the expected winner. The multiple medallist at World Championships of the 1940s and 1950s from Czech Republic was just challenged once, in the group of five. That was against her Latvian doubles partner Laimdota JORDANE. The bronze medallist at the 2012 World Veterans Championships in Stockholm had led with 2-0 in games, before KREJCOVA, member of the Swaythling Club International, finally clinched the victory. A German duo would like to prevent tournament favourite Eliska KREJCOVA winning her second gold in Bremen: The Germans 90-somethings Ursula BIHL/INGE-Brigitte HERRMANN will face JORDANE/KREJCOVA in the final on Saturday at 1:30 pm.

In the 50s nobody could so far seriously endanger the defense duo Jing TIAN ZÖRNER/Vera BAZZI (Germany/Switzerland). The two have been friends for many years, but form a doubles in Bremen for the first time ever. So far TIAN-ZÖRNER/BAZZI have only lost one game in six matches. However Maria GAFTEA and Maria POPA from Romania are holding the same record. They play the number one seeds in the semi final.

With Monika KNEIP and Rose DIEBOLD the top seed of the 60s are already eliminated. Linda SIMPSON and Margaret GABRIEL from England defeated them in den quarter-finals at the ÖVB-Arena. One category further up Gudrun ENGEL and Jutta BARON are on their way to defend their title from Liberec, are still 2 victories away from gold.

Will twins win the class over 70? The sisters Edit WETZEL and Ellen HAAK, who were born in April 1941 with only half an hour in between each other, so far played impressively side by side. WETZEL used to be the more successful player in her younger days, became German national Champion 3 times, won 2 European titles with the team and participated in 5 World Championships. She is still helping out in the 3rd German League when the 1st team of her club needs players. Normally she plays with her sister in the 6th league. For 4 years now they always ended up on the 1st position but never wanted to relegate into a higher league. In the singles event in Bremen they are both out. “If you gave your best and lost there is nothing to complain about,” states Ellen HAAK. “More important than winning is meeting old friends at Veterans Championships”.

The title holder in the category over 75, Sigrid MATTHIAS and Anneliese BISCHOFF from Germany, are still doing well in the race. In the final, they could meet on the winners of 2009, the German-English pair Marianne BLASBERG/Pamela BUTCHER.

The 80s ladies Gisela LANGEN/Kaija KOSONEN (Germany/Finland) could also defend their title on Saturday. Their hurdle at the semi final are the Italian Edith SANTIFALLER-HUBER from Italy and Martha WILLKE (née BEHRENS), participant in the 1954 World Championships for Germany.

Georg BÖHM and Andreas FEJER-KONNERT, uncle of former German national team player Zoltan FEJER-KONNERTH, have reached the semi-final in doubles. After beating Steffen FETZNER/ZSOLT-GEORG BÖHM in the round of the last 16 they overcame the top-seed Russian combination Aleksandr SAVELEV/Georgy RUBINSHTEYN. 6-times German national Champion Böhm plays the singles event in the class over 50 and faces Mikael APPELGREN from Sweden in the semi-final. For the doubles one thing is for sure: A German pair will enter the final as BÖHM/FEJER-KONNERT play Karl STUMPFECKER and Andrzej TRUSZCZYNSKI.

Men’s 50 did it equal to three German duo in the last four in the competition. In addition to Dirk KOSS/Alexander MICHAJLOV, Lutz MOCKLER/Uwe CHRISTLIEB and Erik and Kirsten HOLM are the the highly traded Manfred NIESHAEM wall and Christoph HECKMANN with 3:1 In Men’s 50 only one non-German doubles entered the semi-final: Austrian’s DING Yi and his Russian partner Alexey RODIN. One class above Wilfried LIECK has already secured 2 medals. In both semi-finals, singles and doubles, the former German national team player will face Claus PEDERSEN from Denmark.

There are complete German semi-finals in Men’s 70 and 75 whereas 5 Englishmen compete for the title in the Men’s 80. The best chances have the top-seeds, Anthony ECONOMELLIS from Greece and Anthony HERBERT form England. The group of over 85s is very international. Oldrich FIALA and Rudolf CHROUST from Czech Republic are the top seeds here.

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