2015 European Championships Women’s Teams: Germany Again, Outstanding Performance Secures Third Consecutive Gold
Courtesy of ITTF
The top seeds, Germany, the winners in Schwechat in 2013 and one year ago in Lisbon, justified their status and showed no intention whatsoever of relaxing their grip on the prestigious crown by securing the title for third time in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg on the afternoon of Tuesday September 29th.
A thoroughly professional approach against Russia, the previous evening had witnessed a three matches to nil victory, it was the very same in the final again the Romanian trio formed by Daniela Monteiro-Dodean, Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs.
Han Ying set Germany en route to gold by beating Bernadette Szocs (12-10, 11-1, 11-1), before Shan Xiaona extended the lead by overcoming Elizabeta Smara (12-10, 12-10, 11-5) and Petrissa Solja overcame a bout of nerves to eventually overcome Daniela Monteiro-Dodean (11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9).
“We have huge respect for Romania; I had played once against Daniela and lost; the chances were fifty-fifty”, said Petrissa Solja. “. “The line-up helped us.
A fifty-fifty match, that is how matters turned out but after the first two games, it did not appear that way at all; Petrissa Solja seemed to be in total control.
“I already saw myself with the gold medal after the second game; suddenly I could not play anymore”, admitted Petrissa Solja. “Everything what I tried failed, it was only the
fifth game when I recovered; now I’m happy with the three-two victory.”
Petrissa Solja succeeded to maintain her perfect record; for Daniela Monteiro-Dodean it was her first defeat in the five days of action.
Success for Petrissa Solja in the third match of the contest but was Han Ying who set Germany on the road to gold with an exquisite performance, before Shan Xiaona gave the German cause a major boost by beating Elizabeta Samara.
“After she lost two very close games, I think, that Elizabeta was little bit disappointed”, explained Jie Schöpp, the National Coach. “She lost her rhythm and there were no more dangers for Shan Xiaona in the match.”
Conversely, Shan Xiaona prevailed against a most worthy opponent.
“It was not that easy against Romania but for sure the most difficulty we experienced was in the match against Austria; especially me since I lost against Sofia Polcanova”, said Shan Xiaona. “Also, it was very difficult to play against Russia; they played well above their usual level in front of a fanatical crowd.”
Testing opponents but throughout Han Ying, Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja had responded when occasion demanded.
“I am so happy and proud of my team, we had previously thought that it could be a tough close match”, added Jie Schöpp. “I think we work very hard, very diligently and systematically in all aspects whether in technical, tactical or mental.”
All aspects were covered; it was yet another very professional performance.
It is the fifth time that Germany has won the title, in addition to the most recent successes they won in Bratislava in 1996 and in Eindhoven in 1998.
Two more can arguably be added to the list, prior the German re-unification in 1990, Federal Germany had won in Berlin in 1962 and in Lyon in 1965.
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