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European Championships - 24 Sep 2014

Spain make their mark on the opening day


Spain was in the charge for the biggest upset at the Men’s Teams Event at the 2014 TMS European Championships in Lisbon. Seeded at the position no. three in their Group, Spain beat silver medalists from the last European championships, Greece. The best ch

Spain was in the charge for the biggest upset at the Men’s Teams Event at the 2014 TMS European Championships in Lisbon. Seeded at the position no. three in their Group, Spain beat silver medalists from the last European championships, Greece.

The best chance they had was to overcome their adversaries in three matches and they took it in great style. The opportunity occurred when Carlos MACHADO beat Kalinikos KREANGA. Greek star had 8:3 in decisive game, but he failed to convert his lead into victory.

“Then everything went our way,” explained Jesus CANTERO.”HE ZHI Wen never lost against Panagiotis GIONIS and Marc DURAN had good chance against Konstantinos PAPAGEORGIOU. We could not let KREANGA play against HE and MACHADO never beat GIONIS, so after MACHADO overcame Kalinikos we saw our opportunity. “

It was big blow for the Greek team, which made the outcome in the Group completely open. France was forced to go three full distance matches against Slovakia as a great overture for the very interesting second day of the competition.

Simon GAUZY beat Lubomir PISTEJ, Adrien MATTENET overcame Peter SEREDA and Emmnauel LEBESSON succeeded against BAI HE. “Each game was very close, but we expected it. Maybe not by rankings, but for sure by their game Slovakia’s players are very dangerous. They put us under pressure; we had to play for each ball, to reduce mistakes…” said MATTENET.

Tomorrow France will meet Greece. “Like we did it, at each big tournament in past few years. Last time we played against each other for the place in best 16 in Tokyo at the World Championships in 2011 and at the European Championships they beat us in the match for quarterfinal. Definitely we know it is going to be hard match.”

In Group A, titleholder, Germany, with Timo BOLL but without players on position no. one and three Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Patrick BAUM, beat Austria. Austria’s Robert GARDOS shined tonight, but his skills were insufficient for bigger upset. “GARDOS is a good player, but we still have a better team,” stated Coach Jorg ROSSKOPF.

GARDOS beat Patrick FRANZISKA and even forced BOLL to stay for 4 games in the fourth match. “We are missing our players, but the one we have here are good enough to keep us on winning tracks with the same goals as we had few days ago.”

Dimitrij OVTCHAROV will come late night tomorrow, so he will not be in the line up for the matches against Hungary and Portugal. “Even after group stages he will be here just as a substitute. It will be hard to put him into fire for quarters or semis, especially after he was without the training for a whole week. He had surgery and his not ready for such big event.”

Host nation succeeded against Hungary in straight matches. Marcos FREITAS, Tiago APOLONIA and Joao MONTEIRO gave home crowd good reason to leave the hall happy. “Thank them for great support. We have good team, we had good results in past few years and this is the crown of our recent success. With such wonderful crowd I hope we will reach the medal here,” said APOLONIA.

Belarus beat Italy, led by extraordinary Vladimir SAMSONOV, whilst Russia beat Romania. “CRISAN played very good today, but Romania needed more to beat us. It was not enough,” said Alexander SHIBAEV.

Milica NIKOLIC, EWT

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