EUSA Insider:

Ekaterina Okhotnikova

Age:                  25
Place of Birth:  Kazan, Russia
University:        Kazan Innovative University named after V.G. Timiryasov (RUS)
Sport:                Table Tennis                                                                                 Published 5 November 2019

How and why did you get involved in Table Tennis?
When I was 7-8 years old, I danced and painted, but I did not like it.​ Then when I was 9 years old, I found out that half of my classmates from school played Table Tennis. It interested me and I decided to try it, and I really liked it.​ Since then I have played Table Tennis and really enjoy it.

What do you study, and how do you balance your study, training and competition?
I study at the Faculty of Law. I had to make a choice and made it in favour of sport. However, I try to balance it with studying at university.

Ekaterina at EUC Table Tennis 2019

Tell us about your experiences at the European Universities Championships 2019. Was it your first time at a EUSA event, and what did you enjoy the most?
I​ participated in such an event for the first time this year.​ I remember everything.​ Probably the most memorable team match was with the girls from Croatia.​ It was the longest match in my entire Table Tennis career. It lasted three hours. We fought for each point. Our team won in the hardest battle. I remember the match for the first place against the team from the UK.​ In this match my teammates Shadrina Dasha and Ivanova Diana snatched the victory and thus we overcame our opponents 3:0.​ I remember these indescribable emotions when you realise you have the best team that you will always support.​ Of course, I did not expect to win and be rewarded as the best athlete as well.

Why do you think taking part in university sport is important?
This good question makes you wonder. Some people make their choice in favour of sport. This competition helps them to remember and experience the emotions they had in past competitions. You also make new acquaintances and open new channels of communication.

"I remember these indescribable emotions when you realise you have the best team that you will always support.​"

Next year the European Universities Games are taking place in Belgrade, Serbia. Are you hoping to be there, and if so, what do you hope to achieve?
Of course, I hope I will participate in the competition next year​ and will do my best to repeat this year’s result.

What is your favourite university sport moment?
It is when you can easily spend your free time with students from other universities, communicate and make friends.

Ekaterina and team at EUC Table Tennis 2019

What is your message to European student-athletes​ like yourself?
Do not be upset because of defeat. Victories lie ahead. As we say in Russia: “what does not kill makes us stronger”. Good luck.

EUSA would like to congratulate Ekaterina for her success at the 2019 European Universities Championships, and we hope to see her next year at the European Universities Games 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia!