Germany still hungry for medals
Less than a week before the European Championships in Herning (17 – 21 October) team of Germany is finalizing their preparations in training center. 13 athletes, six women and seven men will travel to Denmark to compete at the Continental Championsh
Less than a week before the European Championships in Herning (17 – 21 October) team of Germany is finalizing their preparations in training center. 13 athletes, six women and seven men will travel to Denmark to compete at the Continental Championships which is shorter than usual. The team competition is held only every two years, therefore, this year it will be only held for the title in singles and doubles.
The format is new, but German thirst for titles is same as ever and they are big favorites as it was the case in past few years. Timo BOLL aiming his sixth singles title, 16th overall at the European Championships. The man who will be greatest threat on his way to the throne is his teammate Dimitrij OVTCHAROV. The player who clinched two bronze medals at the Olympic Games in London is BOLL’s biggest challenger. Very dangerous for the rest of the European competitors are also German champion Bastian STEGER, as well as two times silver medalist Patrick BAUM.
Women’s team is also very ambitious. Irene IVANCAN knows how to win the medal at the European Championships, as she did in Gdansk and Sopot. The German champion, WU Jiaduo is seeded at position no. two in Herning behind the Spaniard SHEN Yanfei. In 2009 “Dudu” won European singles title.
“This was special year for us, with two important highlights and we succeeded in both. European championships is not our main task. From the experience we know how hard is to sustain form at high level for a long time. However we are not travelling to Denmark just for sake of traveling. We want to be successful,” said DTTB sporting director Dirk SCHIMMELPFENNIG.
Only Dimitrij OVTCHAROV will play in doubles, but everybody is ready to fight in singles. “It will be hard to repeat the success from the previous years after World Championships that we had in Germany and Olympic Games in London, but the team is well prepared, has trained well, and the players are aware that they always has to present themselves in best light”, said coach Jorg ROSSKOPF.
Timo BOLL talked about the new format of the European Championships, with only singles in Denmark this year. “You take it as it comes. We are accustomed to the rhythm of the tournament on the World Tour. After the hard World Championships and the Olympics we continued with the Bundesliga and Champions League. However, I am happy that the European Championship this year is not quite as long”, Said Timo BOLL. “I feel good, and I managed to preserve the shape after the Olympics. I have slightly reduced the trainings, in order to stay fresh. The motivation before the EC is high as always.”
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV talked about the increased interest surrounding him after the Olympics. “I received the invitation for the tournament World vs. China for a first time. Also, media demand is unbelievable.”
At the World Cup OVTCHAROV was not at his usual level. “Now I have 10 days of heavy training behind me. After the Olympics I was missing the regular training. I hope that I will regain my focus at European Championships. I am still missing the medal in singles.”
Patrick BAUM admitted he had a bad start of the season.”I have not played well. I lost a lot of games in the fifth set, and it shows the problem with my confidence. “ Women’s national coach Jie SCHÖPP spoke about expectations of the players at the European Championships: “Behind us are the World Championships in Dortmund and the London Olympics. We played well at the World Cup. At the Olympics, we have fulfilled our goal, but unfortunately had no chance to succeed against an Asians. At the European Championships, we have more opportunities. The players are very motivated, and we have the goal to get medals.”
Kristin SILBEREISEN, began a training in October. “At the moment she is in a good shape. She is certainly a medal candidate, in singles and doubles.”
Full German squad – Men: Timo BOLL (Club: Borussia Dusseldorf, World ranking: 5) Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (Fakel Gazproma Orenburg, Russia, 10) Bastian STEGER (1.FC Saarbrücken TT, 28) Patrick BAUM (Borussia Dusseldorf, 30) Christian SUSS (Borussia Dusseldorf, 34) Ruwen FILUS (TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau, 77) Patrick FRANZISKA (TTC RhönSprudel Fulda Maberzell, 87)
Women: WU Jiaduo (FSV Kroppach, 16), Irene IVANCAN (ttc berlin eastside, 51), Kristin SILBEREISEN (FSV Kroppach, 56), Zhenqi BARTHEL (TTG Bingen / Münster-Sarmsheim, 70), Sabine WINTER (SSV DJK Rosenheim, 118) Petrissa SOLJA (Linz AG frog, Austria, 89)
(courtesy of DTTB)
Photo: Timo BOLL leading the German team in Herning (Photo Lomaev)