21 Oct 2016

Husband and wife, Portugal’s João Monteiro and Romania’s Daniela Monteiro-Dodean won the Mixed Doubles title at the Liebherr 2016 ITTF-European Championships in the Hungarian capital city of Budapest on the evening of Friday 21st October and thus wrote their names indelibly into the history books of sport.

Simply by winning the title, they secured the inscription but they marked the accolade in bold by being the only husband and wife pairing ever to achieve the feat.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The no.4 seeds, at the final hurdle they upset the order of merit by recovering from a two games to nil deficit to beat Sweden’s Mattias Karlsson and Matilda Ekholm, the no.3 seeds, in five games (5-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 14-12).

In what was the 27th time the Mixed Doubles event had been held at a European Champions and the 32nd occasion overall, from 2009 to 2013 the competition was organised as a separate entity prior to the actual Championships, it was the first time that a Portuguese player had ever won the title.

“I started this journey as João as my colleague in a meantime, when we faced great pressure he acted like my husband. The support helped”, Daniela Monteiro-Dodean

Meanwhile, for Romania, Daniela Monteiro-Dodean was following in illustrious footsteps.

The first Romanian success came in 1960 in Zagreb, the second edition of the tournament; the first having been two years earlier in Budapest. Gheorghe Cobirzan and Maria Alexandru emerged successful in the Croatian capital city.

Success in the early years of the tournament but then there was a considerable gap until 1992 when, in Stuttgart, Otilia Badescu partnered Kalinikos Kreanga of Greece to success.

“It was important to we kept on fighting because we were the better pair today. We deserved to win”, João Monteiro

Victory in Stuttgart for Otilia Badescu; six years later in Eindhoven at the 1998 European Championships she emerged successful in harness with Serbia’s Ilija Lupulesku.

Two wins for Otilia Badescu, it is also two for Elizabeta Samara, Daniela Monteiro-Dodean’s Women’s Doubles partner in Budapest. In partnership with compatriot, Andrei Filimon, she won in Istanbul in 2011 and the following year in Buzau.

Now four years later a Romanian name appears on the European Championships Mixed Doubles roll of honour, as does that of Portugal; Daniela Monteiro-Dodean alongside João Monteiro.

Liebherr EC Matilda Ekholm Mattias Karlsson Joao Monteiro Daniela Monteiro Dodean