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Romanian tennis player Elizabeta Samara is the best-ranking European athlete in the world rankings recently published by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Samara climbed four places and is currently 14th in the world, the highest rank of her career. “Given the results in the last tournament I was expecting to climb in the rankings but not so much. I registered an important four-place climb; I gained a lot of points. I am very happy with this place in the world rankings, but the difficult part is only now beginning because it will be very difficult to hold it. For the new year I plan to try and move closer to the Chinese,” Elizabeta Samara stated for Mediafax.The 23-year-old athlete had a brilliant 2012, winning two European titles, reaching the World Cup final and the last-16 stage at the London Olympic Games. She was nominated the best athlete in Constanta in 2012 and the best table tennis player in Romania in 2011 and 2012. She is a member of the Fenerbahce Istanbul club. Chinese athletes hold the first four places in the world rankings. Ning Ding tops the rankings. Daniela Dodean, the second Romanian in the world rankings, dropped one place and is currently 35th. Bernadette Szocs, the third Romanian athlete, continues to be 83rd. In the men’s rankings, Romania’s Adrian Crisan is 18th, dropping one place since December 2012.