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Tennis players wish to return their success

In 2006, Victoria and Veronica Pavlovich almost claimed every bronze medal of the World Table Tennis Championship in Bremen, being beaten only by the acknowledged favourites from China and Hong Kong. The next two championships were less successful but, this year, they are again keen to defeat the world’s strongest teams in Dortmund.

By Dmitry Baranovsky

According to their coaches, the men’s and women’s teams are expected to do well, with young Alexandra Privalova on form. Six years ago, she was only observing the game from the subs’ bench in Bremen. However, she has set off to Dortmund as a fully-fledged team member and the current Belarusian champion. The head coach of the national table tennis team, Alexander Petkevich, believes the current line-up if even stronger than that performing six years ago.

The major hopes of the men’s team — Vladimir Samsonov and Yevgeny Shchetinin — have already demonstrated superb play. They’ll soon be joined by young players of world level. “Today’s girls boast a more ‘equal’ team,” asserts Mr. Petkevich. “In the men’s squad, we have only young boys — except for Samsonov, Shchetinin and Platonov. However, soon, we’ll have a competitive team.”

The draw, on which much can depend in the preliminary stage, is fairly good for our team. “At the World Championship, two firm favourites are evident among the women,” notes Mr. Petkevich. “China and the USA. We can and should fight for the right to reach the play-offs. A similar situation is observed in the men’s competition, so we go to Dortmund not only for the sake of participation.”

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