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Other Events - 19 May 2013

Patrick BAUM matured for big acts


World Junior Championships winner in 2005 in Austria’s Linz, Patrick BAUM of Germany created big upset yesterday by reaching the place in the quarterfinal in Paris. On his way to career best at the World Championships he overcame his teammate Dimitrij OVT

World Junior Championships winner in 2005 in Austria’s Linz, Patrick BAUM of Germany created big upset yesterday by reaching the place in the quarterfinal in Paris. On his way to career best at the World Championships he overcame his teammate Dimitrij OVTCHAROV.

So far at the nation team trainings OVTCHAROV was the player who was winning most of the matches, but at the LIEBHERR World Championships the 25-year-old prevailed. “He is certainly most complete player we have in Europe,” says Jorg ROSSKOPF. But he needed a time to mature. “Generally, it takes a bit longer to Patrick,” says ROSSKOPF.

BAUM is only a year older than OVTCHAROV. They know each other since school times, work together a lot and they are also good friends privately. “Dimitrij is one of players in our national team, against whom I have probably done the most training games,” said BAUM.
Neither them – nor BAUM nor OVTCHAROV has played in the quarters of the World Championships before. Yesterday in 4:1 win first four games finished on narrow margins, with two points difference.

Only few would have put their money on that result. OVTCHAROV won the bronze in London at the Olympic Games in Singles Event, won Europe Top 12. He is also invited by Chinese to play in their Super League this summer together with Boll. On the other side BAUM was two times runner up at the European Championships in 2010 and 2011.

BAUM took the decision to become a professional rather late – only after 11th grade at school. “I just was afraid that I can not make it,” he said in an interview for the magazine “Table Tennis” in December 2010 about his biggest concern at that time.

Same as Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, Patrick BAUM comes from a table tennis family. Mother Gabi used to play in the 3rd German league, father Arthur was ambitious second division player and regional coach in the county of Rheinhessen where the family lives, Patrick’s five years older brother Bjorn was in 1996 German cadets Champion and even with less effort still plays in the second division with TTC Weinheim. “My parents are very important to me. They have always helped me, and my brother, too.”

The parents are also in Paris, staying in the same hotel as the German team, but keep in the background. Father Arthur is like Mikhail OVTCHAROV today engaged as a private coach of his son. Two days a week Patrick usually works at home in Florsheim-Dalsheim. The rest of the time he is at the German Table Tennis Centre in Dusseldorf led by Borussia Düsseldorf head coach Danny HEISTER and federal assistant coach ZHU Xiaoyong, if Men’s head coach Jörg Rosskopf is not available.

BAUM last year had to digest two major setbacks, one of which he took very personally. At the Olympic Games in London, he was only number four in the team competition behind Timo BOLL, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Bastian STEGER. He was the substitute who completed the entire preparation, arises as a training partner supporting the team, but in the end he was not in competition and on the podium. Among other things, this also for the German team coach very difficult decision had tactical reasons. The team competition at the Olympic Games contains a double. Some time before the tournament it appeared very probable that rather Timo BOLL would compete in a double as Dimitrij OVTCHAROV. A left-handed duo like BAUM / BOLL would be a combination with less chance of success in world-class table tennis. However, this explanation was no consolation for the BAUM.

At the European Championships in Denmark BAUM had played in the shape of a European Champion, but he was disqualified after the victory against Romanian Adrian CRISAN because of a non-compliant racket. BAUM had not measured the thickness after gluing the day before, because before his material has always met the standard before.

The time needed to heal these two wounds. “Patti has matured,” Jorg ROSSKOPF has been observed in recent weeks. “He is better at dealing with critical situations. “

Simone HINZ, courtesy DTTB

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