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European Championships - 5 Feb 2017

LUNG and LOYEN sealed the fantastic run with the gold

Photo: ITTF

2017 STAG European Under 21 Championships


Lisa LUNG and Eline LOYEN of Belgium will enter the history books as a first title winner of the 2017 STAG European Under 21 Championships. In the thrilling closure of the Women’s Doubles Event in Sochi they overcame Romania’s Adina DIACONU and Andreea DRAGOMAN (12-10, 10-12, 8-11, 9-11).


At the edge of the knife finishes, LUNG and LOYEN showed their class.


“It was not the tactics that prevailed here. More important was that we managed to overcome the pressure of the final. I was too nervous and made to many mistakes. Thankfully Lisa found the way to calm me down,” said LOYEN.


LOYEN regained her confidence and found the answer against the pressure from the no. one seeds DIACONU and DRAGOMAN.


“I just told Eline to stay calm and to put the ball on the table. I played a little bit risky. When we managed to focus on game we took full control,” said Lisa.


Morning session did not start easy for Adina DIACONU and Andreea DRAGOMAN, but after they warmed up a little the semi final match against Ekaterina GUSEVA of Russia and Zdena BLASKOVA of Czech Republic took only one course (11-9, 11-5, 11-3).


“We had a little bit difficult start. It was not easy for us, so the adversaries took a quick lead. However, after 2:6 we started to play much aggressive and to attack more,” explained Adina DIACONU.


Andreea DRAGOMAN added: “Ekaterina and Zdena responded, but they could not keep with that pace for long. We kept on attacking and soon took over the control of the match.”


Lisa LUNG and Eline LOYEN had to play four games against Alina NIKITCHANKA and Hanna PATSEYEVA of Belarus to reach the ultimate stage (6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9). The dangerous combination of attacker and player with the defensive style proved very strong.


“I am so happy they have won it, because they did not play well. When you play against defense and attack you have to be five steps ahead. Also, the attitude was something that bothered me. I told the girls either you are going to win or lose- you are going to do that together. It proved crucial at the end. In the last game they were talking, cheering each other and they won,” explained coach Marc CLOSSET.


Lisa LUNG added: “We had to change the rhythm of the game constantly. It was very important that we managed to regain control in the second game.”

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