by Simon Daish
Romania has been a prominent force in the Women’s Team competition at past European Championships, but the country’s previous title in the category was won over 10 years ago at the 2005 tournament in Aarhus, Denmark.
Since then Romania has progressed to finish in the runners up position on four occasions, with the most recent appearance in the 2015 European Championships final resulting in a three-one defeat against Germany. Elizabeta Samara stated in an interview with the Greek Table Tennis Federation that she believes that it is time to see the Romanian team reclaim the title once again.
“We do not like to be second and that has happened for many years. Over the past six years we have been in this position and this time we want to regain the gold medal.” – Elizabeta Samara.
While the Liebherr 2015 European Championships provided Elizabeta Samara with some disappointment in the Women’s Team event, there was also a huge contrast of joy for the player at the same tournament in the Women’s Singles category.
Five days after Romania missed out on the team trophy Samara went on to stun the world with her capture of the singles gold medal when she defeated Li Jie in the final, stating that she had very little time to celebrate her success due to a busy match schedule.
“I won the gold medal in the singles and the very next day I went to workout because I had to fight in the Champions League. I had to forget the medal because I still had a lot of games ahead of me that season. It was a very nice feeling.” – Elizabeta Samara.
The Liebherr 2017 World Championships in Düsseldorf are only a handful of months away with the competition set to commence on Monday 29th May. Samara managed to reach the Round of 32 at the Qoros 2015 World Championships before exiting to Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, and the Romanian player now has her sights set on picking up some of the sport’s top silverware some time in the near future.
“Certainly I would like a medal at the World Championships or Olympic Games. I think that is the dream of every high-level athlete. We’ll see. As for today we still have many tournaments until the 2017 World Championships so I want to go step by step.” – Elizabeta Samara.