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Champions League Men - 24 Mar 2013

LIU Jia: “I believed in myself!”


“I have no words. Table tennis can be so cruel”, said with a big smile on his face Froschberg`s manager Gunther RENNER after last night`s WECL final, looked like he removed big burden from his shoulders. Linz AG Froschberg was faced with totally unexpecte

“I have no words. Table tennis can be so cruel”, said with a big smile on his face Froschberg`s manager Gunther RENNER after last night`s WECL final, looked like he removed big burden from his shoulders.

Linz AG Froschberg was faced with totally unexpected loss in 2012/2013 Women`s European Champions League final against Hungarian Budaorsi 2i SC. In first leg, at the city of Budaors, Austrians won 3:1 (10:7 in sets) so everyone believed that the rematch at Linz`s Sportpark Lissfeld Hall will be just formality. But, Hungarian side led 2:0, thanks to Szandra PERGEL (world`s no. 94) who beat LIU Jia (no. 26), and promising Dora MADARASZ (no. 147) who defeated smoothly Iveta VACENOVSKA (no. 25).

“Champions League is such a big deal, because even our stars were so nervous. The title is a huge satisfaction, knowing that we had in the past years a lot of problems”.

Beside Gunther RENNER, the part of Linz`s first WECL title, in 2008/2009 season, were coach BIAN Yadong and players LIU Jia and Iveta VACENOVSKA. LIU explained shortly why she lost from PERGEL. “I have played only 20 percent of what I can”! VACENOVSKA said that she was not in her usual shape, admitting that she played very poorly.

Thanks to German 19 year-old  Petrissa SOLJA, who beat easily Croatian Cornelia MOLNAR, Linz stayed in the game. In fourth match LIU Jia needed just two sets to secure new WECL crown for the host, but on the other side, Dora MADARASZ must won minimum 3:1 to bring the title to Hungary. Young guest won 11:0 opening set, announcing the biggest surprise ever in this competition, but LIU recovered and found the way to provide new trophy for Linz.

“I believed in myself. After the first game I was so mad on me, because I want to be perfect. But I found myself thinking that I want to win because I have responsibility for my team”, commented the 2005 individual European champion LIU after the final.

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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