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Belarus sees European U21 Table Tennis Championships as test of strength before European Games

Sport 06.03.2018 | 18:39
Alexander Pektevich. An archive photo
Alexander Pektevich. An archive photo

MINSK, 6 March (BelTA) – The European Under-21 Table Tennis Championships will be a good test of strength for Belarus before the Second European Games, First Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Tennis Federation, national team head coach Alexander Petkevich told the media, BelTA has learned.

The head coach underlined that the Belarusian Table Tennis Federation has quite an experience in hosting international competitions. Previously, all tournaments were held in the Palace of Tennis. The upcoming one will be staged in the Falcon Club which has its advantages: good light, a larger number of stands.

“According to the agreement with the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU), the Belarusian side must meet quite stringent requirements. Therefore, despite the past experience, it is going to be a serious event for us. The upcoming tournament will be a good test of strength for us before the Second European Games, which has table tennis on its program. All members of the ETTU Executive Committee will be in Minsk and thus they will be able to assess the level of our preparedness. ETTU Competition Manager Dimosthenis Messinis had no questions during the preparation,” Alexander Petkevich said.

The 2018 edition of the European Under-21 Table Tennis Championships will be the second one. The upcoming event is one of the most important for young players this season. In total, four Belarusian athletes were granted the right to participate in the competitions: Alina Nikitchenko (third seed), Darya Trigolos (4th), Nadezhda Bogdanova (5th), and also Alexander Khanin (6th). Each of them will start competing in singles (Last 32). Darya Trigolos and Nadezhda Bogdanova are first seed in doubles. All in all, the final list of the European Championships includes 56 men and 56 women. The Belarusian athletes have already trained in a sports complex.

“It was not easy to become a participant of the European Championships. The players were selected based on the ranking. We know many of our rivals well. We have met previously at junior tournaments. There are some U21 competitions, too. The most important thing now is to do our best to produce a good performance,” Alina Nikitchenko said.

The European Under-21 Table Tennis Championships will be held in Minsk from 8 to 11 March. The matches will be broadcast by Belarus 5 TV Channel and on the official website of the European Table Tennis Union.

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