World Championships | 10 Oct 2022

Jörg ROSSKOPF "This silver shines as bright as gold"

Photo: Courtesy ITTF

The triumph of German team at the Team World Championships in Chengdu could not have been more aptly summed up than the men's national coach Jörg ROSSKOPF: “This silver shines as brightly as gold! Second place is an unbelievable success that almost nobody believed we are capable of. That was an amazing performance from my team at this World Championships."

 European champions, German women team reached the bronze medal; they lost to Japan in the semi final. It is the eighth World Championships medal for the German women's team in the 96-year history of world title fights, the fourth bronze medal for a female selection of the German Table Tennis Association and the first in twelve years.

Photo: Courtesy ITTF

In Men's Event, China defeated Germany in re-run of the final of the last World Championships four years ago in Halmstad; they won 3-0 and clinched the title for the tenth time in a row, including six times in finals against Germany.

After outstanding performances and a difficult group phase, with impressive, spectacular, courageous performances against Croatia (3:0), France (3:2) and South Korea (3:2), Jörg ROSSKOPF's team reached their limits in the final against the defending champion and Olympic champion.

"We are incredibly proud of this fantastic success. Playing a World Cup final against China in China is just electrifying. Not many people thought we were capable of the silver medal. But we came here with confidence because we play for Germany. We proved impressively that we can do this inexperienced troops can defeat any opponent and catch up on any deficit." European champion DANG Qiu was proud of his team: "A silver medal at a World Cup is almost like gold, if you exclude China's superiority."

Benedikt DUDA: "I'm just happy and proud of our silver medal. For me it's the biggest success of my career. Even if China deserved to win: This final was a fantastic experience and is super important for my further development. I've improved from game to game at this World Cup, I've been able to deliver and I've had some important wins for our team."

The U21 European champion Key STUMPER, who was successfully thrown in at the deep end against ex-European champion Emmanuel LEBESSON for his international debut in the important group match against France by national coach Jörg ROSSKOPF, said after the award ceremony: “I am very happy, but also incredible tired and exhausted, especially mentally. Of course, I'm very happy that I won the two important individual matches against France and Croatia in my first international appearances - I was able to help the team a lot with that. I played well. The only thing that annoys me is the defeat against South Korea, because I could have played a little smarter in the end. The World Championships are of course my highlight so far, but I hope that I will still have the opportunity to collect a few more medals. But of course it's crazy to now, at 19, after gold at the European Team Championships, now also have silver at the World Championships. I learned a tremendous amount from it, and to have gained this experience at the World Cup at my age is incredibly important. Not many get a chance like that. I'm super proud and super happy - of myself, my team, the coaches and everyone!"

The finals of DANG Qiu, Benedikt Duda, Kay STUMPER, Ricardo WALTHER and FANBO Meng is probably the most surprising triumph in the 96-year history of the World Cup after the silver medals in 1969, 2004, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018. Nobody from the quintet in Chengdu had ever worn the national jersey at a global team championship before. In addition, this time Timo BOLL, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Patrick FRANZISKA, who had won silver at the Olympic Games together last year, were not part of the squad. BOLL and OVTCHAROV were involved in the silver medals at the World Championships in 2010 and 2012, and in 2014 and 2018 Patrick FRANZISKA was also part of the team alongside the two ex-European champions. BOLL was also part of the team that reached the final in 2004, together with the current national coach Jörg ROSSKOPF.

The record European champion Timo BOLL followed the World Cup on TV and was thrilled: "We can all be really proud of the boys. I thought they were capable of a lot, but getting into the final is crazy, of course. Unfortunately it wasn't quite enough against China again, even if one or the other sentence was possible. But congratulations: you did a great job, boys. I'm proud of you!"