European Championships | 18 Aug 2022
SZOCS and POLCANOVA did not drop the set on their way to gold
Without losing the game throughout the whole Women's Doubles Event at the European Championships in Munich, Bernadette SZOCS of Romania and Sofia POLCANOVA of Austria reached the highest step of the medal rostrum. In the final they overcame Romania's pairings Elizabeta SAMARA and Andreea DRAGOMAN (18:16, 11:6, 11:9).
Bronze medalists are: Sarah DE NUTTE and NI Xia Lian of Luxembourg and Maria XIAO of Spain and Adina DIACONU of Romania.
Romania won gold, silver and one bronze medal in the women's doubles. This is the first time an Association is winning three doubles medals in one event in European Championships. SAMARA played in her fifth final and she has two titles already.POLCANOVA played in two, whilst for Bernadette and Andreea is first.
“I cannot believe that we are first but at the same time I can believe it because we are a really strong double. We have worked very hard, we dreamed about this and we are very happy that our dream come true. We hope that from now on we will always be in the same place. Until today I was very sad about my mixed final because we lost it, but today I said to Sofia that we have to win a gold one because I don't want to think any more about this. The silver in mixed doubles means a lot, but gold is gold and I'm very happy that my dreams come true because we worked very hard or these European championships and generally my life is 99 per cent table tennis, I am a sports girl so I am very happy that hard work pays off. In the mixed doubles it's also very good because until now we were in third place two times and now we were in second place so it is better. I'm hoping that next year it will be even better," said SZOCS.
They reached the gold in superb style and dominated the field.
“We worked hard for this goal. Each match we went in with the goal to win here. Even though we didn't tell this to each other we knew that we wanted gold, and we prepared a lot. I also came to Bucharest to practise doubles with her. We are also very good friends outside of the table and understand each other very much. That is also a key to our success. My dream to win a gold medal finally has come true and this medal means a lot to me because I was injured for a long time and to have a comeback like that I'm very proud of myself and of 'Berni', of both of us,” added POLCANOVA.
Elizabeta SAMARA and Andreea DRAGOMAN beat top seeded pairings Sarah DE NUTTE and NI Xia Lian 4:1 (6:11, 11:6, 11:9, 11:6). They did it on Andreea's birthday, so after the match spectators not only that had the opportunity to see very good game, but also to hear Samara singing ...and she did it very well.
"I have no words to describe what I am feeling now. I never thought that I could make it to the final in doubles but thanks to 'Eliza' we made it and I hope we can do it in the final too," said DRAGOMAN who added that she was surprised by the song after the match.
Romania's pairing had a slow start, they lost the opening game.
"Somehow we had a chance, even if we lost the first set. Against NI Xia it is always difficult to find a solution, but in the next game we could find a rhythm and the most difficult set was at 1-1 when they were leading 9-6, and then we changed something with the risk," said SAMARA.
Sofia POLCANOVA and Bernadette SZOCS reached thye final withourt losing the game. They overcame Maria XIAO of Spain and Adina DIACONU of Romania (11:2, 11:7, 11:6)
"We are unstoppable. And we are very happy that we won as easy because we prepared very well for this match, tactically but also mentally. And we didn't give up one second. Also at 2-0 I told Sofia that 'we have to concentrate and we will win like before' because we also have a singles match and we will have the finals tonight and we don't want to be so tired," said SZOCS.