Germany booked their place in Top 8 in impressive stylePhoto: Rémy Gros ITTF
With the three straight matches win Germany progressed to the knock out stage of the Men’s Teams Event at the LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships. In the quarterfinal they will play against Ukraine. In the lower half of the draw Portugal will meet Croatia. Slovenia vs. Sweden and France vs. Greece are the matches we are going to watch too, in the day three of the Championships in d’ Coque.
On day two, today, Germany beat Belarus and Croatia who finished at the position no. two.
“ We were focused and we played on high level so it was quiet easy to win the matches. We have five-stars players in good shape. So we are ready to fight to the title of European Championships and we hope that we can go far, until the victory. But we have to take care to the adversary and to be stronger in the next round,” said Timo BOLL who arrived in Luxembourg on Tuesday evening.” On Wednesday I had a first practice here, and today I played first match. This is the first time that I play in the d’Coque; I tried to find my rhythm and not played on the highest level. “
In Group B Portugal booked the place in the quarters, but surprisingly reigning champions failed to reach the top eight. Slovenia is safely through. In Group C, Sweden and Greece progressed according to rankings.
France overcame Romania, Poland and Ukraine to secure the top of the standings in Group D. Ukraine beats the odds and progressed to position no. two. They overcame both better-ranked teams in the Group: Romania and Poland. Simon GAUZY was in the starting line up against Ukraine and won the opening duel, but after Emmanuel LEBESSON suffered against KOU Lei and Tristan FLORE lost against Yevhen PRYSHCHEPA it was Quentin ROBINOT who faced KOU Lei and brought France back to life. LEBESSON beat Viktor YEFIMOV in the decisive match.
“This morning against Romania Simon GAUZY played with pain in his biceps but he will recover completely until tomorrow for the quarterfinals. Our coach’s decision of replace could look like a little bit risky and necessary in same time. But we knew that I was ready to play. Before the match I spoke with Simon about the tactic and he told me that my adversary is very good at backhand. When I played 2-1 my team knew that I will fight until the last point. They had confidence in me. This match was unbelievable long and my team gave me energy to win. We always makes jokes and have fun but in the venue we are always focused,” explained ROBINOT.