|Katarzyna Grzybowska claims the crucial 5th match for Poland at the WTTC 2012|
Image courtesy of ITTF
Daniela Dodean was the champion of the day for Romania, she managed to win both of her matches, starting with the opening match against Katarzyna Grzybowska. She claimed that match 3-0 and opened the way to the quarters for Romania. Next up to the plate was Elizabeta Samara, carrying a knee injury she was under huge pressure to perform. She came up against defensive player Li Qian, who of the last 4 occasions had won half of the encounters. Li sealed out the match 3-1 to level Poland 1-1.
The next encounter was a great victory for Poland. Bernadette Szocs, potentially the most promising young player out of Europe at the current time, came up against Natalia Partyka a 2 time Paralympic Champion and competitor internationally in both Para and Able Bodied competition. Partyka demonstrated amazing table tennis and instantly took control of the match. Her 3-0 win came as somewhat of a surprise, not just in the victory, but in the margin of victory. This put Poland 2-1 up, and Daniela Dodean under huge pressure.
Daniela Dodean would come up against Li Qian, a player who in their last 6 encounters had won 4 times, including on the most recent 2 occasions. Dodean's determination won out as she gave the match her all and won 3-1, setting up a showdown for the win. The Romanian team had now an issue, the decider would be played by Eliza Samara. Her knee injury restricting the speed at which she could move and the range of motion provided far too problematic. Combined with the removal of her coach during the match in a complication of 'coaching during the match', it wasn't looking great for Samara. Her opponent the Polish number 3, Katarzyna Grzybowska proved to be determined enough to take advantage of the match, despite Samara's efforts and a small comeback, it was not going to be. Grzybowska took the match 3-1 and claimed a fantastic result for Poland and set them up for a quarterfinals appearance.