European Olympic Singles Qualification | 26 Jul 2012
Germany aiming for a medal
After the draw for the Olympics tournament in London, German team held press conference. The biggest European favourites for medal rostrum in both Team’s and Single’s Events, however, underlined that being placed high at the seeding still do not mean you
After the draw for the Olympics tournament in London, German team held press conference. The biggest European favourites for medal rostrum in both Team’s and Single’s Events, however, underlined that being placed high at the seeding still do not mean you have a medal already.
“Both the team and Timo in the singles have been seeded fourth, and Dima fifth to eighth. No athlete ever received a medal just because of his seeding. There are numerous examples of excellent players who never won an Olympic medal. We have got two people who could achieve a medal. It is important to have a clear goal – we have to be focused and play well. The team can cope with the pressure as demonstrated at the World Team Championship in Dortmund. We have done everything we can to be successful in London so I remain optimistic,” said national head coach Jorg ROSSKOPF.
Sports Director Dirk SCHIMMELPFENNIG spoke about the expectations of the DTTB team: “Our main goal is to win a medal. Both teams are well prepared for the Olympic tournament. At present, the excitement prevails especially among those players who are taking part for the first time. New and amazing experiences dominate at the beginning. But from the second day onward the eyes and the head need to focus. The Olympic Games are an incredible event where you need to keep your head. Especially as you have worked hard for it over the past four years.”
In Men’s Singles Event if everything will go according to seeding, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV of Germany will meet Adrien MATTENET of France in Round of 16. Timo BOLL is in the part of the draw with Adrian CRISAN of Romania. Potential adversaries in Round of 16 are Aleksander SHIBAEV of Russia and CHUANG Chih –Yuan of Taipei. In third Round Timo BOLL could meet TANG Peng of Hong Kong, OVTCHAROV probably will get Singapore’s YANG Zi, the reigning Asian champions in the doubles.
“It was difficult to keep the pressure on, after we won a medal in the team competition in Beijing. This time it is going to be difficult in the singles as we will have to perform immediately. A really tricky opponent might lurk straight in the first round. It’s important to be ready, to give 100 percent right away,” said BOLL.
Speaking about his fitness BOLL added: “Never before have I been able to put as much into my Olympic preparation. After the World Team Championship in Dortmund, I was able to go for it completely. It is never been this smooth before an Olympic Games. My body feels great and I hope it stays that way.”
Dimitrij “Dima” OVTCHAROV on his singles’ medal chances: “ I am seeded fifth to eighth in the singles and have beaten everyone who is seeded higher: ZHANG Jike, WANG Hao, Timo and MIZUTANI. Mind you, I have also lost to them but I have played well recently and secured three titles with my club. I have also performed well at the World Team Championship and won the Europe Top 12. I am well prepared but a lot depends on how you feel on the day, on those things you can’t change. I am feeling great and did everything I could have to play well at the Olympic Games.”
Women’s National Coach and three-times Olympian Jie SCHÖPP had enough experience to pass on to the players: “I am really happy that I know what we can expect in London. To have taken part in the Olympic Games as an athlete is very valuable. I hope to pass on what I have learned. My team should play their best game in London. They need to fully concentrate on their matches. If we fulfill expectations and give our very best, I’m going to be happy with any result.”
WU “Dudu” Jiaduo improved her game since 2008. “I have learned a lot in the past four years. To win the European Championships in 2009 gave my self-confidence a massive boost. My head is in a totally different place when I play big tournaments now. I would like to win a medal with the team. That is going to be difficult as big tournaments always hold surprises in store. In the singles, I’m going to think match-on-match”.
“Dudu” gave few tips to Olympic novices “I have told them to concentrate on the match. Enjoying the atmosphere in the Olympic Village or meeting stars should be left to after our events are over. We prepare like for any other tournament. We need to be relaxed as the mind is more important than your technique during the Olympic Games.”
(by Simone HINZ, courtesy DTTB)
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Photo: Dirk SCHIMMELPFENNIG and Timo BOLL during today’s press conference in London (courtesy DTTB)