European Championships | 27 Sep 2021

Romania is going for third consecutive title in Cluj

Romanian Women's and Men’s Team held a press conference today in the eve of the start of the 2021 GAZPROM European Table Tennis Team Championships. In BT Arena Cluj Napoca, reigning champions, Women's team Romania had the honor to be first to address to the media today.

Title holders, Romania is represented by their best players led by top stars Bernadette SZOCS (World's no 24), Elizabeta SAMARA (World's no. 29), Adina DIACONU, Daniela Dodean MONTEIRO and Andreea DRAGOMAN with the coach and the second coach Viorel FILIMON and Elena SEBE.

Viorel FILIMON is very optimistic about this championship.

“I hope to fulfill our goal and the goal of every table tennis fan here, to win the 3rd consecutive title in women's team.” said FILIMON.

Eliza SAMARA is very happy that she finally can play at home.

“We will have very difficult matches, but, like I said before, if each of us will play on our top level, we will win. We hope for the best outcome - the gold.” said SAMARA.

Bernadette SZOCS is confident about this European championship and very grateful for such perfect conditions provided by Romania's Federation.

Asked about the competition, which is always fierce, coach stated:

“From the past experiences, we know that every team is the world-class with medals achieved at European Championship and also from World's. Good for us is that this time Germany didn’t come with the strongest line up, but they still have fearsome players. Also, Portugal, the last year finalist, France, Russia, Hungary and Sweden will be tough to beat. Even with this teams, if our girls remain focused on this championship and forget about everything, we can succeed.

Photo: Mircea ROSCA

Men's team is seeded at the position no. 9 and in their group is Luxembourg, Slovenia and Finland. Coach Andrei FILIMON set the bar high and revealed that the team's aim is to reach the semi final.

“So many people waited with excitement and impatience the start of the 2021 GAZPROM European Team Championships. We are also excited to get into the competition. In the first mach with Luxembourg it looks that we are favorites. We hope that we will not have problems. The most important mach is with Slovenia but we do not underestimate the team of Finland.” said coach Andrei FILIMON.

World's no. 55 Ovidiu IONESCU is the leader of the team composed of Hunor SZOCS, Rares SIPOS Darius MOVILEANU and Eduard IONESCU.

“I am so proud to compete at such important event in my own country. This championships is organised at a very high level. The conditions are comparable to the Tokyo Olympic Games. I believe in our strength; as a team we are like one and I hope that we will have reasons to celebrate at the end of the competition,” said Ovidiu IONESCU.

Rares SIPOS will play in his home town and it is always special moment for every player. Last time he had that opportunity at the European Youth Championships in the same venue.

“ I am so glad to play again, after three years, in my home city. For the whole team it is such a joy to play in Cluj, and especially for me because Cluj Napoca is my native city. I was born in Cluj and it was here when I touched a table tennis racket for a first time.We have a very young team but a quite experienced team. I am looking eagerly forward. I trust the team and the trainers that will demonstrate an excellent performance,” said SIPOS.

It is true that the team is very young and is is also confirmed that the players are adjusted to success. Eduard IONESCU and Darius MOVILEANU were the members of the team at the EYC this summer in Varazdin. They created top rated upset by reaching the medal rostrum straight from the level two of the Championships.

“I am so glad to be a member of this team. In the last week we worked so hard to be in our best shape. We are so glad that we are playing in our country and we will do our best in order to get an excellent result,” said Eduard.