Olympic Games | 5 Jul 2021

Dora MADARASZ pushed team Hungary to new limits

Hungary has a rich history of success and is one of the founding members of the International Table Tennis Federation from 1926, but until recently the Hungarians had never secure a place in the team event at an Olympic Games. On the evening of Thursday 23 January at the 2020 World Team Qualification Tournament in Gondomar, Hungary set the record straight. Team Hungary will play for a first time at the Team's Event at the Olympics in Japan and they qualified without the help of their great star Georgina POTA.

"We qualified in January, in 2020 at the Team Qualification Tournament and that is the one of our best results in our history. We beat Portugal without POTA, it was one of the best days of my life," explained Dora MADARASZ. "When the draw came out it was one of the worst draws - Portugal. We tried our best and after the doubles I felt a little bit better, we were leading. It was like a miracle, I could not believe it. We won that qualification without POTA and thanks to her we were seeded number seven. In the last match in the second game I was up 8-3, or something and I lost my concentration, I tried to focus on my return. I didn't want to think about the Olympics, I just wanted to win and I did it! In the last game, 10-7 I thought, ok this is the match ball for the Olympics."

After the pandemic, everything was put on hold for a while.

"I played the Qatar Open after my injury but my performance was quite well. In the season I played Champions league in Linz and Europe Cup in Novi Sad with my team where we reached third position. But I played quite good in the French league so it is promising for the future. I have small injuries here and there but I will be ready for the Olympic Games!"

What is the goal for team Hungary?

"Our goal is to enjoy the atmosphere there. Of course we want to achieve a great result in team and we proved in the past that we can do it. Everybody will fight for every ball, I am sure about it. In single I hope I can play my game and I hope I will feel comfortable at the table to secure as many matches as possible."

Speaking about her greatest Olympic memories, MADARASZ said: "I watched when BATORFI-TOTH played for the bronze medal in Sydney. Of course I was very young at this time but I already really loved this sport. In addition I really love tennis, so after we qualified last year I realized maybe I will have a chance to go and watch tennis. Maybe I will have an opportunity to see my favourite player Rafael Nadal."

What is the greatest Olympic achievement you can remember?

"For me Michael Phelps's results in the Olympics are incredible, he is a genius."

Dora was not present at the LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships two weeks ago.

“I was struggling with the injury and I was not fully recovered before the start of the European Championships. In light of forthcoming Olympic tournament, my coach and I decided that it is better not to go to Warsaw and recovered fully for Japan. I am getting stronger every day and I am looking forward Olympics,” said Dora MADARASZ.


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