KARAKASEVIC and PASKAUSKINE take up where they left
LIEBHERR 2016 ITTF European Championships
In Belgrade 2007, the curtains were closed for Mixed Doubles Event, as a part of the “big” tournament. Aleksandar KARAKASEVIC of Serbia and Ruta PASKAUSKIENE of Lithuania left the stage as the last European champions.
However, the Event latter continued the life of its own as separate Championships, but with fewer countries on the entries lists. In a meanwhile the format of the Continental gathering changed. The Championships was divided to Individual and Teams Event and nine years latter we have the Mixed Doubles Event back on schedule once again at the LIEBHERR 2016 ITTF European Championships.
KARAKASEVIC and PASKAUSKINE take up where they left in Belgrade. They are the top seeds and strong contenders for the medal.
“Our partnership is very long. We won first European gold in 2000 in Bremen. Year latter we were second in Zagreb, before we clinched the gold in Denmark and Belgrade. After that we won gold and silver at the separate Mixed Doubles Championships …” reflects KARAKASEVIC.
How you feel to play again alongside KARAKASEVIC, we asked Ruta.
“We have been playing for so long together. We know each other very well, and we do not have to put any extra effort to adjust our game. We had a long break, because KARAKASEVIC was injured. Last year at the World Championships we finally teamed up, but I was not very happy how we played. Now, this is our Championships, I expect it will be better.”
To make sure it will be, before the Championships Ruta spent a week in Serbia, on preparation with both Serbia’s national teams.
“For a first time I am without my coach, mother, here. She told me I have to bring medal home,” admitted with the smile, Ruta.
PASKAUSKIENE explained why she is alone in Budapest.
“I think it is time to say Goodbye. I know I have told you that last year, but now it is the time for my retirement. Never, say never…but now I am close.”
Same words came from KARAKASEVIC.
“Today, I am four days away from my final match for the national team. I want to leave Budapest with the medal. I play good in singles, but my chances are in Mixed Doubles and Men’s Doubles. With both, Bojan TOKIC and Ruta, I already proved we can reach the medal. I am optimist we can do it again.”
The preliminary round of Mixed Doubles Event starts tonight at 9 PM local time.