Friday 1 November 2013

Romania's Champion Junior Builds for Higher Goals

Name: Bernadette Cynthia Szocs
Age: 18
Date of Birth: 5/03/95
Nation Represented: Romania
Highest World Ranking: 47

Bernadette Cynthia Szocs. Romania.

How and when did you start playing table tennis? Who influenced you during your early years?

Before I started playing table tennis I went to a tournament which my brother played in with my parents. He won a medal and he was very happy. When I got back home I say to my parents I also want to start to play. I started when I was 6 and a half years old.

My coach Gheorghe Bozga also help me a lot, he died 3 years ago and I miss him a lot and still think what he was saying to me before.

Obviously you also have your brother Hunor. The two of you both won the Romanian National Championships men's and women's singles titles last year, how much does that mean for you?

For me it was the second time I win the Romanian Senior National Championships, I won when I was 16 and 17 years old. For my brother was for the first time and we are happy for each other when we win. It's also nice to hear when Szocs siblings win national champs in singles.

You must be very proud of your brother too, I know when my sister used to play we were very competitive.

All the time he is happy and near to me and he help me to win and also I am like this with him.

What is your most memorable moment in your table tennis career so far?

I have so many memorable moments from tt, so I can't start to say and write everything. I was really happy first time I win European Youth Championships singles title and my parents were there to watch. I also had a really good match with Singapore girl (Feng Tianwei) in WTTC and don't forget I win one set with Ding Ning!

One of Bernadette's many photoshoots

What were the most satisfying moments for you in 2013?

This year I have best results in European Senior Championships and European Youth Champs for Romanian player. I also win Europe top 10.

You now live with your brother and train in Bremen, Germany and play in French league, how is this working for you? Have you considered playing in the German league in the future?

Yes I live in Bremen with my sweet brother. I play in the French League it's a very good club. We are like family here we always help each other. I thought about German league when I was in Romania but now I find really good club and it's difficult league with lots of Chinese players and it's good for me for future to have really good matches. I play in team with Valeria Borza, Agnes Le Lannic and Xiaoxin Yang.

How much has injury effected you in the past couple of years? We usually see you decorated with strapping tape while playing. Has it been difficult to keep achieving so much whilst inured?

I was injured more than 2 years my arm muscle have problems so it was really difficult to play and also problem with my knee and back. I still have some injury now but I start more physical exercise, now I try to play without tape. You have to think how to play 2 years with injury.

You won back to back European Youth Championships titles in 2011 and 2012. Do you think you have a good chance now to win a medal in the European Senior Championships?

I trust that I can do it one time and maybe more time. Junior is different, in senior you need more experience but I like so much to play in senior. When I play with Chinese players or with players older than me and play with players better than me I fight and I think like this. I don't have anything to lose against them and I fight and be focused, if I win it's a good result, if I lose it's not a problem. I want to lose fighting, not lose and not play and fight.

Bernadette thanks her fans

You like photography and fashion/modelling. Do you think Table Tennis needs more of this to promote and get more girls into the sport?

I really like photoshooting. When I have free time all the time I like to try and take some pictures. So many people ask me that I can be model, but I don't want it. I am table tennis player and I love what I do, photoshooting it's another thing than modelling.

What will you be doing to make sure you can qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016?

I hope that I will be qualified because for now it is my dream to be in Rio 2016. I try to have good ranking.

What is your biggest dream for table tennis in the future?

To win European Championships, maybe to win more than once. After world championships and then to be first 4 in Olympic Games, first to be qualified for Rio 2016.

Is it hard being a young female and giving up so much of your time and social life to train and compete in table tennis? Do you have any regrets?

No I don't have any regrets because I love what I do. When I was small I wasn't like a baby to have everything I was always with Table Tennis. Other children have a nice life and I have a sport life and I love it! Now so many people know me because of my sport life, I am proud of what I do.

European Youth Championships 2012 Final
Bernadette Szocs vs. Petrissa Solja

What do you enjoy doing while you aren't playing table tennis?

Ah I like to go shopping and get manicures. I like to dance and play other sport. I like dance clubs but I don't have so much time for things like this and I like to go on holiday. After table tennis I want to have a beauty salon.

Favourite Food: Whatever my grandma cooks.

Favourite Holiday Destination: My favourite destination in holiday :) because now I still play and I don't have holiday, when another people have holiday I went to European Junior Champs. So from now I will see where I like because I am not anymore a junior and I can have holiday.

If you won a million dollars what would you spend it on first?

When I was young my parents spend a lot of money for tt on me and also my brother, so I would do something for them.

Thanks for the interview Bernie! :)

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