Romania in the quest for goldPhoto: Rémy Gros
Romania is in the final of the LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships in Luxembourg. Like in 2015 in Ekaterinburg and in 2013 in Schwechat they will meet Germany. In both previous occasions, as well as in 2011 and 2010 against Netherlands the team was halted at the ultimate hurdle. Romania has three titles so far.
“We want that gold again. We won so many silver medals, now it is time for title. It is going to be open match against Germany. It will be all about tactics and the right team draw, but I believe we can make it,” said Elizabeta SAMARA.
They reached the ultimate stage after impressive straight match victory over Russia, although it did not start that impressive. Elizabeta SAMARA currently ranked at the position no. 7 in Europe was stretched to full distance in the match against Yana NOSKOVA, Europe’s no. 39 (11:9, 6:11, 1:11, 11:8, 11:7).
“We played together for four years in the same club. Russia’s national coach was my coach in the same club. If you look to the picture from that perspective, it says much. There was no way I can prepare some special tactics, my ultimate advantage was my mental strength. When it came to the fifth game I was stronger, more focused and determined, but even in the last game NOSKOVA came close in the middle section. I called for time out and then I concluded the match in my favor” explained SAMARA.
Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN concluded her match in furious style. Polina MIKHAILOVA was always one step back (11:6, 11:7,11:9).
“I have to admit I was afraid of this match. Polina played in superb shape here in Luxembourg. On the other side, I am not very happy when I have to play against the player with defensive style. She is not entirely defensive player, she is also good with attack, but nevertheless I study her game very well, because I knew it is not going to be easy,” said Daniela.
Bernadette SZOCS overcame Olga VOROBEVA (15:17, 13:11, 11:7, 11:5).
“It is good for the team spirit and self confidence that we all won point each. I am so happy that I contributed,” said SZOCS.
Polina was disappointed.
”Today was not our day because we played less well than expected and also anticipated a better result than 3-0. We haven’t played the Romanian team for a number of years and we have never beaten them but we are aware that a bronze medal is the lowest objective we wanted to achieve here as a Russian national team…Some matches and games today were really close, but I cannot say that I or the others did anything wrong or that we lacked the mental strength to turn around games or matches when we were 2-1 up, plus a lead in the 4th game. On some days you win such matches and on others you don’t….”