07 Feb 2017

Rising to the occasion, Belgium’s Eline Loyen and Lisa Lung emerged as the winners of the Women’s Doubles event at the Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championships in Sochi, Russia on Sunday 5th February.

Never extended the full five games distance en route to the semi-final stage, on the concluding day of action they maintained that form to secure the prestigious title.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Advised throughout by national coach, Marc Closset, the no.3 seeds, at the semi-final stage they accounted for the Belarus partnership of Alina Nikitchanka and Hanna Patseyeva (6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9), before causing an upset of note to claim the top prize.

After losing the first game, they recovered to win the next three to overcome the top seeded Romanian partnership formed by Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman (10-12, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9).

In the opposite half of the draw, Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman had ended the golden hopes of the host nation; they overcame the partnership formed by Russia’s Ekaterina Guseva and the Czech Republic’s Zdena Baskova (11-9, 11-5, 11-3).

“I am so happy they won, because they did not play well; when you play against defence and attack you have to be five steps ahead. Also, the attitude was something that bothered me. I told the girls either you are going to win or lose; you are going to do that together. It proved crucial at the end. In the last game they were talking, cheering each other and they won”, Marc Closset after the semi-final win

“We had to change the rhythm of the game constantly. It was very important that we managed to regain control in the second game”, Lisa Lung following the semi-final success.

“It was not the tactics that prevailed. More important was that we managed to overcome the pressure of the final. I was too nervous and made too many mistakes. Thankfully Lisa found the way to calm me down”, Eline Loyen after the final

“I just told Eline to stay calm and to put the ball on the table. I played a little bit risky; when we managed to focus on the match we took full control” Eline Loyen after the final

“We had a little bit of difficult start. It was not easy for us, so the adversaries took a quick lead. However, after 2-6 we started to play more aggressive and to attack more”, Adina Diaconu after the semi-final

“Ekaterina and Zdena responded but they could not keep with that pace for long. We kept on attacking and soon took over the control of the match”, Andreea Dragoman following the semi-final success

Day Four: Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championships

Photos: Alex Lomaev – Butterfly

Latest results: Stag European Under 21 Championships.

Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championships Adina Diaconu Andreea Dragoman Lisa Lung Eline Loyen