IONESCU and SZOCS won the medal in Mixed DoublesPhoto: Richard Kalosai
2016 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships
On the third day of the play at the LEBHERR 2016 ITTF European Championships in Budapest, medal winners in Mixed Doubles Event are already known. Tomorrow, after the semis and final, the order at the medal rostrum will be determined.
In the semi final top seeds Aleksandar KARAKASEVIC of Serbia and Ruta PASKAUSKIENE of Lithuania will meet Mattias KARLSSON and Matilda EKHOLM of Sweden, whilst Ovidiu IONESCU and Bernadette SZOCS of Romania will play against Joao MONTEIRO of Portugal and Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN of Romania.
For the pairings who already has three titles in their record morning was surprisingly challenging. They Adam SZUDI and Sandra PERGEL stretched them to full distance.
“I was under pressure; it was my fault. KARAKASEVIC nor me are the morning persons. To be honest, the first match at the tournament that I played without stress was the quarterfinal; and it was the most important,” said PASKAUSKIENE.
KARAKASEVIC promised he would retire after the medal, now he slightly modified the statement.
“If we win gold we will give ourselves another chance. We will say Goodbye at he World Championships in Germany. German fans always respected me, and it will be nice to try to win a medal. It will be our only chance since 15 years it was not allowed to have pairings from different countries.”
In the quarter they beat Benedek OLAH of Finland and Georgina POTA of Hungary.
Ovidiu IONESCU and Bernadette SZOCS of Romania recorded very big win over pairings with defending style Panagiotis GIONIS of Greece and Tetyana BILENKO of Ukraine. It is the second time that they reached the medal rostrum. In 2012 they clinched bronze in front of home crowd in Buzau.
“For me this is a great relief for singles as well. I had never managed to beat GIONIS before. It will help me in the future. Bernadette was great today to. She is always so dangerous for top spin players and she proved it once again,” said IONESCU.
Against Romanian parings tomorrow in semis, will be Mr and Mrs MONTEIRO, or “family” as they called them. Joao MONTEIRO and Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN beat Jesus CANTERO and Maria XIAO in quarters, after they overcame Dutch pairings TROMER and EERLAND in the second round of the Event.
“We do not have time to practice together and we only had played once at the tournament. It was five years ago in Austria. In the playing field we are more colleagues then anything else. We both had professional attitude,” said Daniela DODEAN.
Mattias KARLSSON and Matilda EKHOLM overcame Liam PITCHFORD and Tin-Tin HO of England.
"We kept a high level of play during the match, we did not let it down. PITCHFORD and Tin Tin had few bad moments and we seized the opportunity," said EKHOLM.