by Simon Daish
Group H has suddenly become an uncertain qualifying group after Slovenia moved to the summit of the group with five points, following a second win over Poland.
Slovenia had made a fantastic start to their qualifying campaign with a 3-1 away win in Poland on the opening match day, but suffered a setback with their 3-1 loss to Belgium in the subsequent tie.
However, success against Poland in the fourth round of matches has put the Slovenian squad back in a strong position in group H as Bojan Tokič’s brace over Wang Zengyi (4-11, 9-11, 15-13, 11-7, 12-10) and Daniel Górak alongside Darko Jorgić’s triumph over Górak (11-9, 11-4, 4-11, 11-5) proved enough to see off Poland.
“Today we witnessed a good match, seen a lot of good points, but above all we are happy again with the full room and great atmosphere” – Joze Urh (Slovenian Men’s Coach).
Greece bounced back from their second round defeat to England by picking up a positive result on their travels to Zoetermeer, as the team of Konstantinos Papegeorgiou, Panagiotis Gionis and Ioannis Sgouropoulos came out on top against the Netherlands.
The Netherlands were looking for their first win in group G having lost out to Greece and England in rounds one and three respectively, but despite taking the lead on the fourth match day with Laurens Tromer defeating Konstantinos Papegeorgiou (11-4, 11-6, 11-6) the final scoreline ended up in the visitor’s favour as Panagiotis Gionis and Ioannis Sgouropoulos registered three wins between them to give Greece the 1-3 away victory.
Sofia hosted a thrilling match of Table Tennis as Bulgaria came to within a match from claiming its first victory of the qualifying group stage, but unfortunately for the home fans the wait will go on after the Russian squad held their nerve to edge to a narrow 2-3 win.
Elsewhere, Germany comfortably saw off Switzerland to move three points clear at the top of group B, a feat which was also achieved by France and Sweden following their 0-3 successes against Finland and Estonia in group C and group E respectively.
Denmark, Belarus and Portugal were the other winners on match day four of the 2017 ITTF European Championships qualifying group stage.