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European Olympic Singles Qualification - 13 Apr 2016

Benedek OLAH stayed in perfect rhythm

2016 ITTF-European Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Halmstad


The preliminary phase of the 2016 ITTF-European Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Halmstad concluded with many upsets as everyone expects. At the Men’s Event the only half of the top seeds justified their status as the end.


Among the players who created the big uspets were Benedek OLAH. The player from Finland beat Linor CITAKU of Kosovo.


«Against CITAKU i was relaxed with the really good feeling for the game. He could not cope with my service, so I can control the match. To be honest, I was much more focused on the situation on the table near me, where KOU Lei and Daniel KOSIBA were playing. My top position in the Group depended on that match» said OLAH.


KOU beat KOSIBA in straight games, so OLAH finished the first phase of the competition in the top spot, after being seeded only at tposition no. three at the begining.


"My victory over KOU Lei yesterday was the best in career. He is number 46 in the World and so far, the best ranked player I have beat was TAN Riuwu, no. 89. It seams that I have a feeling for the players with Chinese origns playing in Europe. I couldn't repeat the success against KOSIBA. We know each other to well. Our friends-rivals relitionships did not work in my favor this time."


KOU Lei of Ukraine finished second in the group after victory over Daniel KOSIBA of Hungary.


"I made my life difficult by losing against Benedek OLAH straight games match at the opening round. Unfortunately, I came here only late on Monday due the flight cancelations. I spent 15 hours in traveling and I was very tired. That is why I am very happy with the situation ended. I am in the good rhythm now and looking forward next duel," said KOU Lei.


WANG Zengyi of Poland justified his status by beating Konstantinos PAPAGEORGIOU of Greece for the top spot in the Group.


"For me is difficult to play against PAPAGEORGIOU's style of play. He has pimple backhand which is dangerous for me. That is why I had to put so many variations in my service game. I had to stop him from the begining. I played short and long balls and constantly changing the rhythm. That opened some space for the good rellies. I also felt good and moved very well," explained WANG.


Among the winners were also Jakub DYJAS of Poland whobeat Hunor SZOCS of Romania in the quest for the top spot.


"In last two occasision I won our encounters, but each time it was full seven games match. I always suffered playing against him. It was the same today. I was two games in reverse before I changed my tactics. I tried with the straight service; he could not return well. It made easier for me to open the game and to play shorts balls close to the net."


Bojan TOKIC of Slovenia beat Robin DEVOS of belgium, but just to finish at the third position in the group.


"I have been at two Olympics so far and I think this will be the last. Each time it took three or four years of my life. It is so heavy tournament and it is so hard to cope with so much pressure. Today against DEVOS I awas three games in advance, then I lost a focus for a moment and the things went bad. Luckuly I recovered."


Acontary to TOKIC who sliped from position one to three, Solt PETE of Serbia progresed fro place three to one. In the third round he accounted for Alfredas UDRA of Lithuania.


“Everybody is counting points here. I am trying not to think about the Olympics and all those figures. However, after hard work in the opening matches and victories against Zoran PRIMORAC and Daniel GORAK, I gave my best to withstand any kind of surprise from Alfredas UDRA. I did not want to give away hard earned points from yesterday.”


His teammate Aleksnadar KARAKASEVIC also upset the rankings by beating Tomas KONECNY.


“I have so much difficulties adjusting to new balls. The return of serve was my specialty, but here I am struggling with that part of the game. I moved very good, I felt good at the table, but I struggled with the return. After second game, I managed somehow to put that thing in order and I won.”



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