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Champions League Men - 29 Mar 2013

Tenth ECL crown on SAMSONOV’s brain


If reigning Men`s ECL champion Fakel Gazproma Orenburg beat Chartres next month, Vladimir SAMSONOV will level Borussia`s all-time record. Now, German side leads 10:9 in European titles against great Bielorussian. But, first three out of his nine crowns, h

If reigning Men`s ECL champion Fakel Gazproma Orenburg beat Chartres next month, Vladimir SAMSONOV will level Borussia`s all-time record. Now, German side leads 10:9 in European titles against great Bielorussian. But, first three out of his nine crowns, he reached in Borussia`s jersey. Other six with Charleroi (5) and Orenburg (1).

Three times individual European champion (1998, 2003, 2005) and the runner-up of 1997 World Championships at Manchester gave us a fast interview, speaking not just about Men`s European Champions League…

First of all, your comment on Men`s ECL semi final (Orenburg defeated Pontoise, Chartres surprised Borussia), are you surprised by Borussia`s elimination?

Borussia was a favorite, but Christian (SUSS) has an injury and GAO Ning is in fantastic shape. Chartres deserves to be in the final. What do you expect from MECL final against Chartres?
“Chartres is a great team, we almost lost against them in the last season (twice 3:2 for Orenburg). Of course we will do anything to win”.

- You already has nine MECL titles, more than any other player. What are your best memories, do you remember something special from first final and title?
“I am sure it was a great feeling. Every final is special”.

- Your impressions from Asia-Europe All Stars, especially from your match against actual Olympic and World champion ZHANG Jike?
“We had a good start, and were a bit unlucky in some games. Still, considering ranking positions of European and Asian players we must be satisfied with the result. I am very happy to beat ZHANG Jike, matches like this give the strength to continue playing”.

- What European table tennis must do to be more equal with China?
“To be more popular, we need more kids playing”.

- How did you manage to stay almost two decades in the top of world`s table tennis?
“I have a lot of support from my wife, from my children. In every club where I played, or where I practiced, I had (have) a great coach“.

- Your table tennis plans until the end of this year and in the future?
“Champions League, World Championships, European Championships, the usual”.

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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