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European Olympic Singles Qualification - 12 Apr 2016

Great day for Vlona MALOKU

Photo: Linda KARLSSON

2016 ITTF-European Olympic Games Qualification Tournament


At the opening day of the 2016 ITTF-European Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Swedish city of Halmstad, Vlona MALOKU of Kosovo was in charge for the top rated surprise. On her way to first ever victory for Kosovo at the Olympic qualifications she beat Amelie SOLJA of Austria.


 “SOLJA’s style is very difficult for me. I was under stress at the beginning how to set the tactics. I started with the backhand, but after the second game I find my way in through the backhand. “


Vlona MALOKU started her career in Slovenia, but then she moved to Kosovo.


“I played for Slovenia at the European Championships in Bratislava and I also played at the lot of tournaments in the region. Then I moved to Pristina,” explained MALOKU, who underlined the differences between Kosovo and the rest of the teams. “I am university student now. For all of us table tennis is hobby, because there is no financial support for our sport. We did not have any preparations for the qualifications. When you look around you see all those professional players, and we can not afford it.”


In much dramatic manner Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN of Romania beat Rahel ASCHWANDEN of Switzerland.


 “After a long time I do not feel pain at the tournament. Before European championships I suffered from pain in the back, after at the preparations in Korea and the World Championships my shoulder was injured…And finally after long time I am painless. I can consider that as a very good shape,” said Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN.


Both players are member of the Werner SCHLAGER Academy.


“We are practicing together, so we know each other very well. Still, she surprised me. Her service game improved very much,” added Daniela.


Renata STRBIKOVA of Czech Republic joined her with the victory over Giorgia PICCOLIN of Italy.


“It is cliché..First match is always hard; we are nervous…. However, I am not under stress. I have been to the Olympics before, and if I manage to go again it will be nice. I was only little bit surprise by the aggressive way of play that PICCOLIN showed.”


Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA of Poland was relaxed after the victory over Eline LOYEN of Belgium.


 “This is very special tournament. The mental pressure is greater then at the other tournaments. How you cope with the stress is more important then against who you are playing.”


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