European Championships | 25 Sep 2021
Elizabeta SAMARA : "Fans and us are one"
We are only days away from the 2021 GAZPROM European Table Tennis Championships to be held from 28 September until 3 October in Cluj Napoca. The reigning champions in the Women's Team Event – Romania - will play on home soil.
"It always feels great to play at home, we enjoy having our own fans, who gives us energy and motivation to succeed. It feels like we fight together, we win together with the public. I have played table tennis for more than 25 years and it will be great to play this tournament at home. The conditions for this tournament will be extraordinary, so it will be a great event to attend," said SAMARA.
How do you manage pressure and motivation, that it brings, to get the best of you?
"We are fully aware of this pressure, considering the fact that we won the previous two titles. Usually I'm used to playing under pressure, my way to manage the pressure is to keep focusing on every ball, to pay attention to every single detail."
You have played at the POMEGRANATE Europe Top 16 Cup in Thessaloniki, what do you think about your shape?
"Yes, I have been there. It wasn't a good tournament for me, but I turned it into a useful experience, I learned everything I could of it. I am in good shape, it wasn't a matter of me not being in a good shape, I will do my best in Cluj, to help my team to succeed."
You are in Group B with Italy and Belgium. Can you put a "scanner" of the top challengers for the medal rostrum in Cluj?
"Every team comes to Cluj determined to have a very good result. We respect every opponent and we take every single match seriously."
Three months ago we had the LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships and you have won bronze medal. What is the difference for you when you play team competition comparing individual?
"When you play team events and when you win, its an amazing feeling. You play for your country, you count on your teammates on the bench, It's a different energy and vibe and I simply love it."
What was the greatest moment of friendship during the championships you experienced?
"Try to imagine us winning the title in Luxembourg, in 2017. No restaurant was open at that hour, I went with Dana DODEAN MONTEIRO and we bought food for everyone and it was a very special moment for all of us, "remembered SAMARA.
What was the craziest thing that happened when you were with your teammates?
"The craziest moment during a competition was at the World Cup in London. The fire alarm went off twice during the night and we had to go out on our pyjamas confused, it was absolutely crazy," laughed SAMARA.