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European Championships - 29 Sep 2014

Germany proud of their kingdom


In the dramatic final Germany secured their sixth title, whilst Austria reached first ever silver. Defending champion needed three straight matches to clinch gold. SHAN Xiaona, HAN Ying and Petrissa SOLJA beat Sofia POLCANOVA, LIU Jia and Li Qiangbing. “F

In the dramatic final Germany secured their sixth title, whilst Austria reached first ever silver. Defending champion needed three straight matches to clinch gold. SHAN Xiaona, HAN Ying and Petrissa SOLJA beat Sofia POLCANOVA, LIU Jia and Li Qiangbing.

“First match between SHAN and POLCANOVA was very important for us. Both players were very nervous, but SHAN played at top level. In second, HAN found herself in new situation at this tournament. She lost two games! LIU Played very well today. SOLJA gave solid performance. Our team proved they are in top shape. Throughout the tournament they were at the top of the game,” said coach Jie SCHOPP.

SHAN Xiaona explained what happened in the duel against POLCANOVA: “At the Qatar Open I won 4:0 against her but she has become better. Actually I like the quick game, but only to block and play the ball on the table is not enough against her. In the first two games I was too passive. I thought, if I play this style I cannot win. Then I played with more risk. I learned how to be patient. I currently feel during a match that I cannot lose. I have all matches won here at the European Championships in the fifth set.”

HAN Ying repeated the success against LIU Jia, but it did not come easy. “I knew that it would be a more difficult game than in the previous round. Then I had won relatively easily against her. After the first game I’ve become nervous. In the first set I have 9:5 and still lost. If I could win this, it would have been much easier.”

SOLJA was also full of energy. “I could not wait to enter the box. I wanted to play so much. I was focused and ready. I was running like a crazy before the match at the warm up and started perfectly from the first point.” said Petrissa SOLJA.

Austria clinched first ever medal at the European Championships in team’s Event. They lost final in Lisbon, but they put Germany on test. Two opening matches went full distance. “Sofia POLCANOVA improved her rankings by 100 places in last year, but she still needs experience. That was the breaking point in her match against SHAN Xiaona. She started good, but then SHAN changed the tactics and Sofia could not follow. That will come with time,” said coach LIU Jan Jun.

Same situation were in the duel between HAN Ying and LIU Jia. LIU was two games up and then she suffered defeat. “LIU improved her game against defenders and came close here to HAN. However HAN was much better today. At the end LI Qiangbing was nervous against Petrisa SOLJA today. She needs experience in big matches.”

Milica NIKOLIC, EWT

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