The table tennis team of Linz AG Froschberg narrowly missed their third Champions League title for women on Tuesday evening in Linz. In the final of the final tournament of the European premier class, the host’s team, classified as number two, lost 2: 3 to the top seeded now five-time title holder Berlin Eastside. Sofia Polcanova and Liu Jia won the points for the Linz women. Bernadette Szöcs and Margarita Pesozka twice.
With home advantage, Froschberg wanted to strike for the third time in the Champions League, in 2009 and 2013 they had already succeeded. At the end of a six-day event, played in a corona bubble with no spectators, two points were missing from the home triumph. The Ukrainian Pesozka drew the short straw with 2: 3 in the decisive fifth individual against the German Nina Mittelham, the final set was lost 4: 6.
Twice caught up a residue
The Froschbergerinnen had equalized twice. After a 2-0 lead in the set, Pesozka had already lost the opening individual with 2: 3, against Shan Xiaona. After that Polcanova had no problems with a 3-0 win against Mittelham. The Romanian Szöcs was subsequently without an order against the Dutchwoman Britt Eerland, remained without a set win.
Froschberg coach Zsolt Harzi now brought Liu Jia instead of Polcanova and had done a stroke of luck. Because the 38-year-old dominated Shan Xiaona with a sensational game at will and allowed only ten counterpoints in her 3-0 victory. Pesozka went 1-0 in sets against Mittelham, equalized to 2-2, but had worse nerves in the new short final set.
“Those were two points that decided,” said Liu. “We might have needed luck a little more. But they deserved it.” In the opinion of the local hero, Pesozka was too stressed in the decision. “She was very nervous and tense. She no longer had a clear head.” Liu was still happy about the success against Shan: “We know each other inside out. I just had to implement it in my head, I did it.” (apa)