by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
She faced India’s Cathrintina Arokia Dass, a win vital, she responded but there were some nervous moments, she needed to full five games to secure victory (11-7, 10-12, 11-7, -11, 11-4).
“I was very focused but I must admit that I was somewhat nervous knowing that I had to win. We played against each other in the Cadet Girls’ Team event and on that occasion I won three-nil; today I was tense.” Malamatenia Papadimitriou
Left handed a major feature of the play executed by Malamatenia Papadimitriou was her controlled forehand top spin; play that stroke early in the rally she is the clear favourite. Against Cathrintina Arokia Dass, who uses anti-spin rubber on the backhand, her forehand top spin was the difference.
“I played with spin to the middle whenever possible Cathrintina Arokia Dass. Against Ma Xinyue if I could play the first topspin in the rally then I had a chance but that was so very difficult.” Malamatenia Papadimitriou
In addition to her technical skills Malamatenia Papadimitriou displayed determination; no doubt that quality being a result of where she lives.
Born in the year 2004, the year Athens hosted the Olympic Games, Malamatenia Papadimitriou lives in the Greek island of Salamina. Each morning she boards the ferry to the island of Piraeus, a 15 minute journey; then it is a 25 minute journey by road to her school and table tennis practice. The training session concluded, she returns home via the same route.
Throughout she is coached by Nikoulae Laoura, a pupil of Viorel Filimon, she hails from Romania.
“The goal is for Malamatenia to reach a high level of play; it is difficult but her parents give one hundred per cent support as does the European Table Tennis Union. Neven Cegnar has invited her to several training camps. I’m really grateful for the help given.” Nikoulae Laoura.
Support and well deserved support; the effort made is to be applauded; in Muscat, Malamatenia Papadimitriou has impressed.
Furthermore, she has already a medal to her credit; partnering Egypt’s Farida Badawy, runners up spot was secured in the Cadet Girls’ Team event.