Gold! WSA-stars in excellent shape at the ECS


Photo: ORF

The team-event couldn’t have come to a more thrilling and from the Austrian point of view more successful end. Even before the start we all knew in which perfect shape the Austrian men (who all practice in the WSA) are at the moment. Nevertheless it is always hard to win a medal at a major event like the ECS.


For that reason it is even more unbelievable that they won gold in the end and beat the favoured Germans. The finale which was broadcasted live in the Austrian television was not to be outbid in suspense and offered top-class table tennis. Breathtaking rallies and unbelievable tight decisions made this 4 hours long finale to a major promotion for table tennis.


The first match of the day between Robert Gardos and Patrick Baum started very thrilling as Gardos was 0:2 down and even had to overcome a match-point before he won the match in the 5th set 13:11.


In the next game, Stefan Fegerl faced Dimitrij Ovtcharov. No one would have ever thought that this match would be as close as it was. Fegerl won the first set and had some set points in the second, but unfortunately he lost very close 17:19 in the end. Set 3 went also to Ovtcharov and in the 4th Fegerl succeeded to overcome 5(!) match points from the German before he won this set 14:12. The 5th set was as tight as the others-both had the victory on their racket. In the end, the big favourite Ovtcharov defeated Fegerl 12:10 and adjusted the overall score to 1:1.


The 3rd match of the day was played by Daniel Habesohn and Patrick Franziska. Right from the beginning Habesohn played very confident and managed to win the first 2 sets without problems. Also set 3 started well. Habesohn had match points at 10:8 but couldn’t win the final point. He lost 10:12 subsequently. Set 4 went exactly the same way-Habesohn was early in the lead but in the end lost 10:12. In the 5th set he finally managed to keep his nerves and won confidently 11:5 which brought Austria a 2:1 lead.


Robert Gardos then could only keep up with Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the first set and lost 1:3.


In the deciding match Stefan Fegerl had to beat Patrick Baum. Austria had the unique chance to win gold in the team event for the first time. Unimpressed by this fact, Fegerl played relaxed and showed his best table tennis. He defeated Baum in only 3 sets and staggered whole table tennis- Austria into a collective rapture. Only few had thought that Austria could win against this strong team from Germany, all the more impressed the shown performances.


Naturally the WSA is very proud as all of the players from Austria practice at WSA since many years.



Beyond, there were other remarkable performances from WSA-players in the team event.


In the Women’s contest, at her first big international tournament after the birth of her daughter, Daniela Dodean-Monteiro led her Romanian team into the finale against Germany. Until then she didn’t lose one match-a result that not many other players in the first division accomplished.


Another player in very good shape was Tetyana Bilenko (SVNÖ Ströck) who won bronze with her Ukrainian team, which was a bit of a surprise. In the semi-finale against Romania (1:3) the defensive player who is part of the international women-training-group at WSA showed her best table tennis and won the only match for her team (against Bernadette Szoczs).


Also an outstanding performance showed Andrea Todorovic from Serbia who defeated Europes Nr.3 Elisabetha Samara from Romania and the young SVNÖ Ströck player Lea Rakovac who sensationally beat Hu Melek from Turkey, Europes Nr. 6.


Overall 7 WSA-players were standing on the podium at the award ceremony of the team event.


The shown performances proved again how excellent the work of the coaches at WSA is.


Now all eyes are on the singles and doubles events. There again a lot of WSA-athletes have good chances to win a medal.

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