02 May 2018

A serve of alphabet soup fuels Romania's first place finish.

by Wade Townsend

Romania has topped their group in the Women’s Team Event in Halmstad. With four wins and just one loss, their biggest adversary so far has been the alphabet.

When Viorel Filimon, the coach of the Romanian women’s team, was late to the call area for his team’s match against the Netherlands, the tournament was turned upside.

Being late for the toss meant Filimon wasn’t able to select the lineup for the match. According to the regulations that was presented at the jury meeting prior to the event determined that the team was to be entered in alphabetical order.

The ruling was followed to the letter, and anyone who is familiar with the Romanian team would know they were in a spot of bother. Szocs and Samara were benched, leaving the team with their biggest guns holstered.

What’s in a name? Turns out it’s the difference between winning and losing.

The nomination by nomenclature meant that despite a determined effort, Romania went down 3-1.

“We were so angry after the defeat against Netherlands. We came here as European champions with only one motive on our mind: to reach quarter-final and to play for medal. Netherlands was one of the adversaries that we knew we had to beat in order to achieve our goal.” Elizabeta Samara.

Romania was left teetering on the edge of elimination from medal contention. That just didn’t fly with the team’s plans. With fire in their bellies they came out determined as ever to upset the seedings and take down Chinese Taipei.

A little rage went a long way. Romania came out on top 3-0.

“It was very hard today. I was two games down against Cheng I-Ching, a player I have never beaten her before. Bernie was in the same position against Chen Szu-Yu. It was very close, but we had to win. We did not have any other option but the victory.” Elizabeta Samara

With their place in the main draw secured, Romania overcame their earlier qualms as they defeated the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 3-1 to top their group in Halmstad.

With their ABC’s learnt, Romania now turn their thoughts to numbers. Will it be 1, 2, or 3?

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