Mariia TAILAKOVA ready for the ChampionshipsPhoto: ITTF
2018 STAG European Youth Championships
Russia won three teams medals last year in Guimaraes, and they are coming in Romania at the 2018 STAG European Youth Championships as favorites once again. Junior and cadet girls, as well as cadet boys clinched gold medal in Portugal.
They will come ready for the challenge.
”We had training camp in Sochi with all national teams, boys and girls , also some seniors was there. We were together for 12 days”, stated Mariia TAILAKOVA. “ I am satisfied with my shape. Not the best ever, but it is OK.”
Junior girls were very impressive despite the fact that Anastasia KOLISH, Mariia TAILAKOVA and Kristina KAZANTSEVA formed very young team. All three will be on duty again in Cluj Napoca. This year two more girls, from last year’s cadet team joined them - Ekaterina ZIRONOVA and Natalya MALININA.
Now, when you have one more year of experience, do you think it will be little easer?
“Maybe in some moments yes, it will be little bit easier, but actually it’s like a new paper , everything is changed, not only us, others also. I think it will be same - hard and difficult as always is at the European Championships.”
They are in the group A with Azerbaijan, Czech Republic and Norway.
“We have Azerbaijan, and it will be great challenge to beat them. However, if you want to defend the title, you should win against everybody, so we will do our best and we will see. It is not so bad to have one of the favorites in the Group, because later it does not matter if we will win or lose, in the main draw we can meet them only in the final. Against Czech Republic and Norway, we will fight as against anyone else.”
Last year Russia beat Romania in the final to clinch the title.
“They will be even more dangerous than usual. At home is always easier to play, you got support from everybody, but we do not think about it. Our task is to fight and to hope for best.”
What is your goal in singles?
“The title, of course, but let’s reach the final stages first.”