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European Championships - 8 Oct 2013

New milestone for Germany


Germany becomes the second nation after Hungary in the history of European championships that merged both titles in Team’s Event. At the 2013 LIEBHERR European Championships in Austria, Germany’s men and women team clinched gold. “Yesterday was the histor

Germany becomes the second nation after Hungary in the history of European championships that merged both titles in Team’s Event. At the 2013 LIEBHERR European Championships in Austria, Germany’s men and women team clinched gold.

“Yesterday was the historic day for our federation. We clinched the title in the matches played on the highest level. Especially women’s team’s final matched highest standards I ever saw at the Europeans. Women presented table tennis at its best, with very attractive game”, said Sport Director in DTTB Dirk SCHIMMELPFENNIG.

After 15 years German has the gold in Women’s Team’s Event.

The team that played in the final showed no weak spots. “HAN Ying has very strong defense, but she is also very flexible, able to adjust easily. She is strong in “spin on spin” game. Kristin SILBEREISEN has very good spin from both sides, SHAN Xiaona is good on short pimples….we have choppers, penholders, lefthanders, shakehaders….solution for every adversary and every tactic.”

The goals that Germany set go beyond the title at the European Championships. “We have World Championships medal aspirations and, of course, we are heading Olympic Games. SHAN and HAN will not be eligible to play at the World Championships in Tokyo, so other girls will get opportunity. We have young players in our team and it is important we gave them great opportunity to improve their game..”

At the tournament Petrissa SOLJA also was in the game. “The decision of the team was that we excluded her from the match against Austria. Her sister is playing there and it might be some extra pressure for her. However, she was in the team against Czech Republic and played very important match against Hana MATELOVA after 1:1. Against Romania in case of fifth match she was in line up to face Elizabeta SAMARA, so she had important role here.”

Whilst everyone expects to see Romania and Germany in the fight for gold, in Men’s team’s event Greece surprisingly emerged to the final.

“We were ready for them. We know the team very well and we had the solution for every tactic. However, they were playing like they are on fire, fighting for first ever gold. They were not to be underestimated. Dimitrij’s opening match against KREANGA was very important. First game was easy, but the next one was important. Dimitrij won it 13:11; with 1:0 it was much better situation for us. In the second match Patrick BAUM faced Panagiotis GIONIS. Day earlier GIONIS beat Vladimir SAMSONOV and he proved great shape. He lost two opening games very close, changed his tactics and recovered to win the match. It put Patrick FRANZISKA for a first time at the tournament in the situation where he had to play after 1:1. So far he had always 2:0 lead as a safe cushion. After 1:1 against Konstantinos PAPAGIORGIU he showed metal strength, tuned his service and receive…The match between GIONIS and OVTCHAROV was one of the best ever in finals. They pull out the best of each other but at the end it was Germany that celebrated.”

Against Austria it was hard to play on their home field, but till it was 3:0. “GARDOS stretched BAUM to full distance and after OVTCHAROV played two close sets against FEGERL. Against France we expected hard match with LEBESSON, but Dimitrij was at the top of the game. Very interesting was the duel between FRANZISKA and GAUZY since they played so many times before at the Youth Championships.”

Most challenging was the match against Russia. “SHIBAEV played at very high level. I think that he reached his limits in that duel. OVTCHAROV needed full five games to beat him. It was same story in the match BAUM and SMIRNOV. However, new milestone was set in the duel between SKACHKOV and FRANZISKA. Patrick never beat him before and he also lost recently against Kirill in Bundesliga. However he was well prepared.”

In front of the team are few days for rest. The break is long and there is a plan for everyone. “Some of players will have rest, some of them will come back to the hall on trainings. We are here to win the medals in all six event’s and there is tactic for everyone. Girls gained some extra self-confidence, but it is early to talk about title, because there are very strong adversaries in the field. On the other side OVTCHAROV is the strongest favorite for the title.”

Milica NIKOLIC, EWT

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