Title for BRATEYKO and BAJOR on their premiere of the doublesPhoto: Vladimir ZDANOVICH
2018 BELGOSSTRAKH European Under 21 Championships
Partnering Eline LOYEN, at the inaugural Championhips in Sochi, Lisa LUNG clinched gold medal in Women’s Doubles. At the 2018 BELGOSSTRAKH European Under 21 Championships Lisa had to pass the title over to Solomiya BRATEYKO of Ukraine and Natalia BAJOR of Poland. In the final they were better then the Belgium’s combination of Lisa LUNG and Margo DEGRAEF (11:8, 11:9, 11:6)
“It is the first time that we played with each other. It was very scary for us to play in this final match, but I'm so happy now. I have never before won the title at such competitions, in fact it's my first serious victory. The efforts that I've put into all these games were worth it,” said BRATEYKO.
The straight games victory speaks about the superiority of the winners.
“The hardest match for us was against Romania’s pairings in semis,” added NATALIA.
Last year’s finalists in Sochi, Adina DIACONU and Andreea DRAGOMAN of Romania were halted today in the penultimate stage of the Event. Solomiya BRATEYKO and Natalia BAJOR prevailed in full distance clash (5:11, 11:6, 9:11, 11:3, 11:8) to secure the place in the final.
“It was long, tough and scary match. We played against one of the strongest pairings of the whole tournament, and I felt some sort of psychological pressure put on me because now we don't have a right to make mistakes, simply no right. But I believed that we could win, we felt support coming from each other, and now I'm extremely happy with how things have turned out. Maybe we'll do even better next year, without risking as much in the key games as we did today,” said Solomiya BRATEYKO.
Spain’s ZHANG Xuan and Ana GARCIA were close to halt the progress of Lisa LUNG and Margo DEGRAEF of Belgium, after they recovered from the two games to null in reverse, but they lost the decisive game by narrow margin (11:13, 7:11, 11:2, 11:8, 10:12).
We have done our utmost to get to the finals from this match. We had to literally fight for each point, because the stakes are high and everyone plays at his finest. ZHANG Xuan and Ana GARCIA were stone strong, we nearly missed the whole game - first we were leading safely 2:0 when voila!- it was 2:2 at 8:4 and then 10:10, it was a narrow margin,” said Lisa.
Margo added: “We supported each other all the way through, we stayed positive and tried hard to keep calm. In final it will be the battle for life.”