European Championships | 16 Jun 2021
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV aiming for third gold in Warsaw
From June 22nd to 27th, Germany will be represented at the LIEBHERR European Individual Championships in in the Torwar Arena in Warsaw with the strongest line up. The eleven players will complete their last training hours this week, and on Saturday the plane will take off for Poland.
The team is led by World no. nine Dimitrij OVTCHAROV who will fight for his third title after 2013 and 2015. Timo BOLL could push his European record up to eight victories. Bronze medal winner Patrick FRANZISKA is also aiming for a place on the podium again. After two triumphs at the Europe Top 16 ranking tournament, Petrissa SOLJA is also aiming the podium at the European Championships, on which SHAN Xiaona (silver) and HAN Ying (bronze) were allowed to climb eight years ago in Schwechat. The other German starters Ruwen FILUS, Benedikt DUDA, Nina MITTELHAM and Sabine WINTER also have the potential to intervene in the medal award. In doubles and mixed games, in which DANG Qiu is the sixth German player in the men's team, all German combinations are considered hot contenders for precious metal without exception.
“The European Championships are the most important tournament on the Continent and it was always a childhood dream of mine to win the individual title. I've done it twice already, but I will do my best to do it for a third time. There are a lot of strong players in Europe and a few who can surprisingly play their way forward. The usual suspects in the fight for the title is always Timo. In any case, I will do everything I can to play successfully at the European Championship. If this succeeds, it will also give you super self-confidence for the Olympic Games. "
OVTCHAROV is satisfied with his current shape.
“I was able to train well for a long time and very continuously. It's something I've always wanted but never had time before the Pandemic. It is still not easy, because it is of course also a big change to have such long training phases without competitions as feedback on the level of performance. Sometimes you have the feeling that you are in the shape of your life, a week later things are not going so well. From a purely training point of view, I have certainly never been able to prepare better for tournaments - that applies to both the European Championships and the Olympic Games. Even though the Olympics are always omnipresent, I see the European Championships as an important tournament in its own right and not just as a preparation. It is the largest continental tournament and very prestigious. But of course everything is different this time: After that there will be no break and the Olympic preparation will continue straight away. "
Even the short time between two big events is not a problem.
“Normally, a tournament as important as the European Championship so close to the Olympic Games would be counterproductive. This time I am very happy about it, because we only had the two tournaments in Qatar at international tournaments this year. The results in Doha with a first and a third place as well as the successes over the Japanese HARIMOTO and the Taiwanese LIN in the run-up to the Olympic Games were of course very good for me, especially since they were tournaments where we could measure ourselves again with the Asians. That was important: You now have more respect for me and I have more self-confidence. "