Big surprise in greece: Katerina NTOULAKI announced her retirement
04/05/2011 – Katerina NTOULAKI suddenly announced the retirement of the Greek national team! The leading Greek athlete in world ranking and current champion in women’s singles decided to stop early the international career for personal reasons
04/05/2011 – Katerina NTOULAKI suddenly announced the retirement of the Greek national team! The leading Greek athlete in world ranking and current champion in women’s singles decided to stop early the international career for personal reasons and the news caused a huge surprise to all the people in the sport!
The 29 year old champion wants to move to the place of origin, Crete, and set other goals in her life. She had intended to stop immediately and for this preferred to stay outside of the mission for the upcoming World Championships in Rotterdam. “My decision is final and it is something I worked on my mind for long time. The reason for leaving is that I want to move to Crete for personal reasons and of course it was impossible to follow the program of national team. I will stop on June, at the end of the season, I will leave my club which is abroad but is very possible to continue table tennis in some Greek team. Will see.”, said the current bronze medallist of Mediterranean.
NTOULAKI closed a great chapter for Greek women’s team. She played with absolute consistency from 1998 to today (she had a bronze medal in doubles at the European Junior Championships in 2000)! In recent years played for Colosa Telesil Valladolid, spend two seasons in Portugal’s Sao Joao, and her first stop in Europe was the Italian Sporting Catania in 2004. “I feel like ending a strong long-term relationship and I wonder “what I do now?”. I am sad, but like I said I thought this is the time for moving forward. The important thing now is that I put other priorities in my life and move to other rhythms. I stop for something good. Until now it was the tennis my priority, but I decided that if I can not normally pursue the program of the national team, it is better to stop now”, added NTOULAKI
Greece will be represented at the GAC GROUP 2011 World Table Tennis Championships in Rotterdam by Panagiotis GIONIS, Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU Kostas LAGOGIANNIS, Tasos RINIOTIS, Maria CHRISTOFORAKI and Filareti EXARCHOU. They will compete under the guidance of the men’ s national coach Kostas VATSAKLIS. The teams will arrive in Netherlands on Saturday morning. Kalinikos KREANGA cancelled his participation. He prefer to star at home and rest. After a good and full season KREANGA does not want to strain himself and risk possible injury.
Kostas VATSAKLIS underline that the basic target in Rotterdam concerns Panagiotis GIONIS and his efforts to earn a place to the Olympic Games via World Ranking List. “In the past few months Panagiotis loose same positions and now he is not inside 28 tickets for London. So the most important thing for us is to win in few rounds in men’s singles in order to get the necessary points for the decisive W.R.. It is the last chance. The draw will undoubtedly play a role and will be the best result if he repeats the record in 2009 when he went to Round of 16 of the event. For other kids the goal is to go through the qualifiers and scored in the first round of men’s singles”, said the national coach.
Giorgos KARITSAS not hide his bitterness about the retirement of NTOULAKI, which he lead in the team from 1998 at age 16. “Personally thank and honour her presence of the national team. This is a great athlete and a great character. The decision is a blow to the team and the Greek table tennis because I think from now on would provide more from what has already offered”, comment nationalcoach and for the participation of younger athletes CHRISTOFORAKI, EXARCHOU in the World Championship, said: “This participation will help them to gain experience. The have done a very good season with national team and can continue good performances. They will find in qualifying, I hope to be competitive and to move as much as possible”.
(by John FAKAROS, courtesy Hellenic TT Federation)
Photo: Katerina NTOULAKI (courtesy ITTF)
Photo: Katerina NTOULAKI (courtesy ITTF)