World Championships | 26 May 2023

Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Patrick FRANZISKA clinched bronze in Durban

Photo: Courtesy ITTF

Germany’s Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Patrick FRANZISKA won bronze medal at the World Championships Finals in Durban. In the semi final of the Men’s Doubles Event they lost to JANG Woojin and LIM Jonghoon of Korea 2:3 (7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 5-11).

"We are very disappointed because the opportunity to reach the final was huge. After leading 2-1, they played a few more balls on the table. It's as simple as that. We had a few key moments: in the first game, I played 0-6 against LIM'S banana flick, which surprised us. At 9-10 in the fourth game, Dima missed a ball that he hits 99 out of 100 times. Then there was my service error in the last game. These three things are bitter against an outstanding world-class duo. Overall, we played a great doubles competition at the World Championships, and today we had another excellent match," said Patrick FRANZISKA.

"It's great for us and for Germany to have won a doubles medal. Nobody expected that. But we are really disappointed now. We played our best doubles today, delivered our best performance, and were better than our opponents at times, who are incredibly strong. In the fourth set, we made a strong comeback. I felt they were really nervous. LIM flicked the ball slightly high with a lot of spin, like a grazing shot. That's when I made the frustrating mistake. In the final game, at 4-3, I put a counter-spin just two millimeters out, and at 4-4, my flip was a bit too cautious. Then, at 4-5, came the service error. So, three of our points slipped away. Then I made two poor returns, and suddenly it was 4-8 – that was the frustrating midpoint of the fifth set. We gave them those points without them doing much. After that, we lost our momentum, which is really unfortunate because we played very strongly otherwise. We deserved to win today," added Dimitrij OVTCHAROV.

It is the only meadl for Europeans at this World Championships and first for German pairings.

FRANZISKA: "We will definitely celebrate tonight. Neither of us has won a doubles medal before. It's been a long time since the German Table Tennis Association has had one as well. We are both really disappointed right now, but we will shake it off tonight and raise a cold drink to the bronze."

In Women’s Singles quarterfinal HAN Ying of Germany lost to China’s SUNG Yingsha 0-4 (6-11, 8-11, 6-11, 5-11). Anders LIND’s sensationl run in Durban was halted in Men’s singles quarterfinal. China’s WANG Chuqin, World’s no. 2, prevailed against player ranked at the position no. 180 in the World, in five games (12-10, 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8).