by Simon Daish
Romania achieved a second position finish in the Women’s Championship Division two years ago at the European Championships, and will attempt to go one better in Luxembourg.
Fixtures against the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and the host nation Luxembourg in Group B present Romania with a tricky opening to the tournament but with Elizabeta Samara, Bernadette Szocs, Daniela Monteiro-Dodean and Irina Ciobanu competing alongside talented teenage star Adina Diaconu the second seeded team will be hoping to enjoy a positive campaign.
Favourites for the title Germany have fielded a very strong lineup for the event and the defending champions will surely be the team to beat with Han Ying, Shan Xiaona, Sabine Winter, Nina Mittelham and Wan Yuan making the team sheet.
The first task for Germany is to negotiate Group A encounters against Hungary, Sweden and Croatia.
Two further groups will also feature in the Women’s Championship Division with Austria facing opposition from Portugal, Ukraine and Spain in Group C while Poland joins Russia, France and Belarus in Group D.
The Slovak Republic and Serbia are two of the sides which will be aiming to excel in the Women’s Challenge Division but Azerbaijan could be the surprise team to keep a close eye on.
Azerbaijan impressed at the recent Stag 2017 European Youth Championships and have fielded a young squad for the Liebherr 2017 European Championships with Deng Simeng, Maryam Imanova and Zhou Chuyi carrying the hopes of the nation.
There is just the one group in the Women’s Standard Division with Norway facing challenges from Estonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, Scotland and Macedonia.
Draws and Schedule