Olympic Games | 17 Jul 2021
Petrissa SOLJA: My faith in myself is stronger than before
Winner of the Singles and Doubles titles at the European Championships in Warsaw and winner of the China Construction Bank 2020 ITTF-Europe Top 16 in Montreux, Petrissa SOLJA at her best, is one of the deadliest players the sport has to offer. In Japan at the 20202 Olympic Games in Tokyo, SOLJA will lead her team once again. Five years earlier SOLJA helped Germany to the women's team silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, the best finish by a European team in the history of the event.
Before the titles in Warsaw and in Montreux last year she reached the Round of 16 at the German Open, and played at the Hungarian Open, Qatar Open, Grand Final, World Cup in China Bubble and WTT Macao...
HHow do you feel nnow?
"I think I´m on a good way to perform well at the Olympic Games. I try to practice as well as possible and I hope my shape will be right in time.I worked a lot with my team mates in the German national team in Düsseldorf. Everybody is doing their best and even those players who aren't nominated for Tokyo are working very hard and are trying to support us as much as possible."
You have already prepared for one Olympics and I wonder how the preparations during the pandemic circumstances are different compared to your previous experience?
"At the beginning of 2020 COVID numbers in Germany were increasing. I remember I was playing the Qatar Open in March and when I came back home I arrived to a completely different world. I went to the supermarket because my fridge was empty but most of the shelves were empty and I was shocked. I could feel the panic of the people. Some days were passing when lockdown started. All training venues were closed and I didn't know if the Olympic Games would be cancelled or not. This situation was making me crazy and still I´m not feeling comfortable with it, not to know what's the plan for the future/the upcoming months."
But despite this she kept on working.
"Meanwhile I was practicing at my parents' house in the basement, with my father, like I used to do when I started to play table tennis. Back to the roots was the best I could do in my situation. Suddenly the announcement came that the Olympic Games would be postponed but no one was still not sure if they would take place. After that announcement I took some time off and was trying to calm down and relax a bit. After 2 weeks I was slowly starting to practice again at my childhood home and when venues opened again I went to Düsseldorf to practice with my team mates. It was a great feeling to meet them again and we all enjoyed the practice."
What is the goal for the German team and your personal goal in the singles and mixed doubles?
"In teams we at least want to reach the quarterfinal. In all three categories it would be great to play for the medals."