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by Ian Marshall, Editor

Furthermore gone was the group stage, it was straight knock-out from the firing of the gun and there was another first; a new name was added to the roll of honour for the tournament that first saw the light of day as the Europe Top 12 in 1971 in Zadar.

Romania’s Bernadette Szocs won the Women’s title and she won against the odds. She commenced play listed at no.14 on the European Women’s World Rankings, the no.10 seed in Montreux; she was an outsider for honours. Furthermore, she was the third highest rated Romanian on duty; Elizabeta Samara was the no.2 seed, Daniela Dodean, the no.9 seed.

Also, Li Jie of the Netherlands, the defending champion was on duty, she was the top seed; likewise Austria’s Liu Jia was present. She was the no.3 seed and three times the tournament winner. She had won as long ago as 2005 in Rennes, prior to succeeding in 2014 in Lausanne and one year later in Baku.

Stiff opposition but Bernadette Szocs was equal to the task; after posting an opening round win opposition to Tetyana Bilenko of Ukraine, the no.14 seed, she ousted Hungary’s Georgina Pota, the no.4 seed and Sweden’s Matilda Elkholm, the no.8 seed to book her place in the final where the good form continued. She accounted for Li Jie to arrest the title.

It meant that she became the third Romanian to win the event and the first this century, the most recent being in 1995 in Dijon when Otilia Badescu prevailed. Previously, Emilia Ciosu had succeeded in 1993 in Copenhagen but the star of them all is Olga Nemes. In 1989, when actually representing Federal Germany, she won in Charleroi, having in 1983 caused a sensation when in her native Romanian colours, she succeeded in the northern English county of Cleveland.

At the time she was only 14 years old; stand aside Tomokazu Harimoto!

2018 Review of Year
Bernadette Szocs

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