The Romanian table tennis player Bernadette Szõcs on Sunday won The Europe Top-16 Cup, a table tennis tournament organized annually by the European Table Tennis Union. The competition featured the 16 highest-ranked players in Europe, among whom three Romanians: Bernadette Szõcs, Elizabeta Samara and Daniela Dodean-Monteiro.
During the tournament Bernadette Szõcs lost only one set. In the first round, she defeated Tatiana Bilenko of Ukraine 4-0. Then, in the quarterfinals, she defeated the Hungarian player Georgina Pota 4-0 and in the semifinals she outperformed Swedish player Matilda Ekholm at the same score.
In the final, Bernadette Szõcs was up against the Dutch Jie Li, the trophy holder, whom she defeated at the score 4-1. Elizabeta Samara ranked 3rd in the competition, after she defeated Matilda Ekholm in the other semifinal 4-2. Daniela Dodean-Monteiro was defeated in the first round by Austrian Jia Liu 4-2.
Thanks to her remarkable result Radio Romania International designated Bernadette Szõcs the Athlete of the Week. The Europe Top-16 Cup is one of the most prestigious table tennis competitions. It has been played since 1971 and until 2015 it has been called Europe To-12. Before Bernadette Szõcs, other Romanian women players who won this competition were Olga Nemeş in 1983, Emilia Ciosu in 1993 and Otilia Bădescu in 1995.
Bernadette Szõcs was born on March 5, 1995 in Targu Mureş (central Transylvania). She took up sports at the age of 8 and she managed to obtain her first victories quite soon, in the cadet and junior competitions. Bernadette Szõcs has won many medals in the European and world competitions and advanced quite swiftly in international classifications. In 2010, due to the lack of financial support from the Romanian Sports Authority, Bernadette Szõcs wanted to move to Norway and play for that country but she has eventually given up the idea.
In 2016, at the European table tennis tournament hosted by Budapest, she won the 3rd place in the mixed doubles together with Ovidiu Ionescu. In 2017, at the continental championships held in Luxemburg, Bernadette Szõcs won gold together with Romania’s team that included Elizabeta Samara and Daniela Dodean-Monteiro.