National Championships: PAPAGEORGIOU-EXARCHOU Greek champions
04/03/2012 – Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU created a tradition in Greek National Championship.. Yesterday in Byzantine Sports Centre he won the gold medal in men’s singles and doubles as he did last year. In singles he became Greek champion for third ti
04/03/2012 – Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU created a tradition in Greek National Championship.. Yesterday in Byzantine Sports Centre he won the gold medal in men’s singles and doubles as he did last year. In singles he became Greek champion for third time in a row and fourth overall in his career! In women’s singles Filareti EXARCHOU captures the trophy for first time at this event.
In men’s doubles Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU and Kostas LAGOGIANNIS maintained their supremacy, while in women’s doubles winners emerged Laura NIKOULAE and Agelina PAPADAKI. The 64th National championship offered rich spectacle, thrills and surprises. For third consecutive year in the same Sports Centre the competition was dedicated to the memory for many years agent of Pera Athens and member of the board of Greek Table Tennis Federation Damon DAMIANIDIS.
In the final of men’s singles we saw new couple in history. There, Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU and Kostas LAGOGIANNIS, the teammates for years from Pera Athens and the national team faced each other in battle for title. The favorite number one of the event show very good performance and succeeded in straight games (4-0).The first two sets were very close and concluded with a difference of two points in favor of PAPAGEORGIOU. This development seemed to affect the psychological of finalist, who was unable then to respond to the demands of the race, while at the same time PAPAGEORGIOU continued in very good pace – 14-12, 11-9, 11-2, 11-4.
PAPAGEORGIOU said: “I did not expect this development in the final. In no way I imagined it could be 4-0 because with Kostas every game was very difficult. It seems that Kostas was more tired and the first two sets played a key role. He lost; psychology fell, while the mine psychology reached the higher point. At the end of a long day is hard to overthrow such a score and maybe it happened with me the same if I was losing 0-2 … “, said the experienced international player.
In the final of women’s singles Filareti EXARCHOU faced her very good friend and teammate in Phoenix Piraeus and the national team Maria CHRISTOFORAKI. It was for both the first final event at the national championships. The 25 year old athlete played better, imposed by the game and reached the victory 4-1 (11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8).
“I am very happy. I really wanted this gold and believed absolutely. Step by step I played better and in the final I was more prepared, more concentrated and more relaxed than Maria I believe”, said the new champion of Greece.
Very strong matches took place also to the finals of doubles. In men the development of the race was exciting, kept the interesting of the spectators until the finale and eventually Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU / Kostas LAGOGIANNIS prevailed over the champions of the 2010 George FRAGOULIS / George KONSTANTINOPOULOS by 3-2 sets. The finalists prior to 1-0 and 2-1 sets, had match ball the pairings of Pera reversed the situation and got the victory (12-14, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 12-10).
In women’s doubles the first favorite Laura NIKOULAE/Agelina PAPADAKI confirmed the expectations.. They won the final by 3-1 sets, but there the special new was that the opponent was a pair from Salonika. Vanya ZANEVA/Kalliopi SOTIROPOULOU-PESIRIDOU marked the first, after many years, presence of athletes from a Salonika’s club in a final in national championship of big category! The games of the contest were 11-6, 11-6, 7-11 and 14-12.
Men’s singles: 1. Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU (A.S. Pera Athens) 2. Kostas LAGOGIANNIS (A.S. Pera Athens) 3. George FRAGOULIS (Tatavla AO) -. Tasos RINIOTIS (Amphitheas AO)
Women’s singles: 1. Filareti EXARCHOU (AO Phoenix Piraeus) 2. Maria CHRISTOFORAKI (AO Phoenix Piraeus) 3. Dimitra THOMAIS-TSEKOURA (Athena Magoufanas) -. Agelina PAPADAKI (Athena Magoufanas)
Men’s doubles: 1. Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU/Kostas LAGOGIANNIS (A.S. Pera Athens) 2. George FRAGOULIS/George KONSTANTINOPOULOS (Tatavla AO / A.O. Pefkis) 3. Tasos RINIOTIS/Kostas KONSTANTINOPOULOS (Amphitheas AO / A.O. Pefkis) -. Lefteris MAKRAS/Antonis MALINAKIS (A..S. Pera Athens / Filia Orestiadas)
Women’s doubles: 1. Laura NIKOULAE/Agelina PAPADAKI (A.S. Pera Athens/A.E. Athina Magoufanas) 2.. Vanya ZANEVA/Kalliopi SOTIROPOULOU-PESIRIDOU (YMCA Thessalonikis) 3. Eleni GEORGIADOU/Aliki KIOUFI (D.A.O. Taurou) -. Filia EMIRI/Dimitra-THOMAIS TSEKOURA (A.E. Athena Magoufanas)
(by G. FAKAROS, courtesy of HTTA)
Photo: Filareti EXARCHOU