Germany secured their place in Japan with goldPhoto: Rémy Gros
European Games 2019 Minsk
Germany beat Romania in the final of the Women’s Teams Event at the European Games in Minsk and booked their place at the Olympic Games in Japan 2020. Bronze medal went to team of Poland.
In the final Nina MITTELHAM and SHAN Xiaona gave Germany the dream start with the victory over Elizabeta SAMARA Daniela DODEAN MONTEIRO (9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6) in doubles.
“That gave the match the course we wanted. It was difficult match, but after victory in doubles it took the course that worked in our favor and allowed us to be more relaxed with few options more. Defeat will really have narrowed our opportunities. In addition, the win made me feel more confident and in case of need for my singles I would have more confidence,” said MITTELHAM.
Silver medalists from the singles event in Minsk HAN Ying only faced pressure in the opening game of the singles against Bernadette SZOCS (9-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-2).
“She beat me in the European Championships. Now I was ready for her. I had avenged my defeat,” said HAN who also booked her place at the Olympics in singles. ”Now I have year and half to prepare for Japan. It is great. Now we are not under pressure.”
SHAN Xiaona overcame Daniela DODEAN MONTEIRO in four games (11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7).
Silver Team’s medalists were disappointed.
“Our goal here was gold and Olympic Games ticket. Silver is only consolation. It is hard to talk after the defeat,” said Elizabeta SAMARA. ”We had a chance in doubles. That was the crucial match today, and they were better pairings.
SZOCS added:”I could not feel HAN’s game and she read my very fast. I could not find the answer.”
In a long, five matches duel, Poland secured bronze. They overcame Hungary 3-2.
Szandra PERGEL and Dora MADARASZ were stretched to full distance in the match against Natalia BAJOR and Natalia PARTYKA (8-11, 11-5, 11-3, 5-11, 11-9).
“They are playing together for a long time. It was very difficult to overcame them,” said Natalia PARTYKA.
Georgina POTA put the pressure on LI Qian, but European champion prevailed (11-5, 3-11, 11-8, 13-11). In the fourth game the Expedite Rule was enforced, the game having lasted 10 minutes. It meant that the service was alternate with the receiver of service winning the point if making an effective 13th return. LI responded better and leveled the match.
In five games thriller Natalia PARTYKA overcame Dora MADARASZ (13-11, 4-11, 3-11, 11-1, 8-11) to give Poland the lead; POTA pushed Hungary into the decisive match after the victory over BAJOR (8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 5-11). At the end PERGEL suffered by the hands of LI Qian (11-3, 10-12, 11-1, 11-9).
“For me both matches were difficult. I lost yesterday against Nina MITTELHAM match I should have won. It shook my confidence. Coming back from that defeat was not easy. By looking the record books, I was favorite today, but when you are burnt by such experience, you can take nothing for granted. I was afraid,” admitted LI Qian.
LI won the European crown in Alicante last year in singles.
“I had hard time after that. I played in Europe a lot of tournaments, Champions league and I played in Chines league. I was under severe pressure to the point I been totally burnt down. I could not move, I was sick. Now, I am coming back slowly and I am so happy I could play this tournament at high level,” said LI.