(by Steve Hopkins)
Europe’s top teams battled this week in Cluj, Romania. The German team featured Patrick Franziska, Benedikt Duda, and Dang Qiu – that is, two of their top players elected to sit out this Championships after taking some time off after the Olympics and even without Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the German team was dominant. Germany entered the event as the top seed and they performed perfectly, winning every match to get to the Final, and then topping Russia 3-1 to take the title.
Second seeded Sweden fell in the Semifinal 3-0 to Russia. Russia and Denmark each performed upsets to reach the Semifinals. Denmark fell 3-0 to Germany to end their run. Russia, however, dominated Sweden to continue to the Final. Sweden should have been easily favored, but Truls Moregard fell to Lev Katsman, Anton Kallberg fell to Maksim Gremnev, and Jon Persson fell to Vladimir Sidorenko. In the final, Maksim Grebnev topped Benedikt Duda for Russia’s only win – after that Franziska won twice and Qiu won once to seal the 3-1 victory for Germany.
In the Women’s Teams, Germany and Romania were the top two seeds. Both advanced to the Final. Last year it was Romania that won the event – this year was Germany’s team as they won 3-1.
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