First ever married couple champions - Joao and DanielaPhoto: Richard Kalosai
2016 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships
Joao MONTEIRO of Portugal and Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN of Romania become the first ever married couple to clinch the gold medal at the 2016 LIEBHERR European Championships. In the final they overcame Mattias KARLSSON and Matilda EKHOLM of Sweden (11-5, 12-10, 5-11, 6-11, 12-14).
In thrilling contest both sides fought hard, but in close finished “family” prevailed.
“I started this journey as Joao as my colleague in a meanwhile, when we faced great pressure he acted like my husband. The support helped,” said Daniela.
Two opening games went on Sweden’s account, but in third the pendulum swung.
“It was important to we kept on fighting because we wer5er better today. We deserved to win,” said Joao.
In the semi final Mattias KARLSSON and Matilda EKHOLM beat top seeded pairings Aleksandar KARAKASEVIC of Serbia and Ruta PASKAUSKIENE of Lithuania 1:3 (9-11,11-8,12-14,9-11).
“It is was important to keep KARAKASEVIC away from the table; to prevent him of playing his game. We succeeded and we won,” explained KARLSSON.
Mattias and Matilda playing together for couple years; his partnership started in 2011 in Rotterdam at the World Championships.
“We are very good double, but we always struggled with the draw. We were unlucky to have Japan’s and Korean’s players against us in early stages at the Championships,” said EKHOLM.
Joao MONTEIRO and Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN needed three games to beat Ovidiu IONESCU and Bernadette SZOCS of Romania (9-11, 6-11, 8-11) .
“It was not as easy as the result predicts. Both are very dangerous players. Tactically we nullify aggressive approach, he could not move the way he wanted. Also we did not allowed SZOCS to settle in her rhythm with short balls,” said Joao Monteiro.
It seams that players are enjoying the return of the Event at the big Championships.
“This way we have much stronger competition, the players are interested in playing it.’