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Timo BOLL: I am a lucky man

Photo: ITTF

Timo BOLL: I am a lucky man


German legend Timo Boll is the man who has been at the top of his game for almost two decades. The 38-year-old three-time Olympic medalist, one of the greatest European players, proved beyond doubt that he is equal of the Chinese superstars, so many times by now.


The time of isolation during the pandemic of COVID 19 he spends in Germany at home in Höchst.


Can you remember the moment when you start to play table tennis and who or what was the reason why you did it?


“I started to play table tennis at age three or four at home with my father. We played nearly every day. I just loved to do sports,” said BOLL.


When you realize it will become your professional call?


“At age 16, when I really became a professional. I was never too optimistic to achieve really big results.”


Timo had not to wait for long before the big success.


“I become Junior sportsman of the year in Germany, I think in 1997.”


The medal count after that is impressive. Silver and two bronze medals at the Olympic Games, all three at Team’s Events in Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro; eight medals at the World Championships including bronze in singles 2011 in Rotterdam and silver in Doubles Event in Shanghai 2005; gold at the European Games in Minsk in Singles and Team’s and fantastic 27 medals at the European Championships of which 19 are gold.


In such extraordinary career, what is the most memorized moment for you?


“Winning the semifinal of the Team’s Event against Japan in the Olympics 2008 which ensured our first Olympic medal,” said BOLL who was Germany's Olympic flag bearer for Rio 2016.


Germany won 3:2 in the match where Timo BOLL beat Japan's teen prodigy Jun MIZUTANI. Also rising star at that time Dimitroj OVTCHAROV defeated Yo KAN. Japan overcame Germany in the doubles match and Yo KAN beat Christian SUSS in the fourth match to force a fifth and deciding match. BOLL held his nerve against Seiya KISHIKAWA to win.


Place that made greatest impression on you?


“Palais Omnisport in Paris is a very nice venue.”


Person that impressed you the most?


“Vladimir SAMSONOV, I love how he stayed down to earth.”


Biggest regret in career?


“If you look behind you see some decisions always critical, but in that moment, I always acted with the feeling, I do the right thing. So I'm fine with everything.”


Greatest happiness so far?


“ Birth of our daughter.”


Greatest sadness?


“Nothing really special, I'm a lucky man, but if you just mean table tennis disappointments maybe loss to Jan-Ove in the quarterfinal of Olympics in Athens 2004.”


Earlier this year at the Europe Top-16 Cup in Montreux, BOLL clinched the title and he equaled the record that Jan Ove WALDNER set – he won his seventh title at the tournament.


“For me Jan is one of the greatest players of all time. I am successful in Europe, but he was bigger globally,” said BOLL after the victory.


Legacy of the sport?


“Jan Ove WALDNER and LIU Guoliang, MA Long is on the way.”


What is the next goal to achieve?


“Another medal at the Olympics!”