Wednesday 4th August 2021
Crime against Japan, China is waiting
Table tennis men fight their way to the dream final
The German table tennis men around Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov reach the dream final against overwhelming China at the Olympic Games and have at least silver for sure. In the semifinals, the German team beat hosts Japan 3-2 after extremely exciting games.
The dream final is perfect: led by old master Timo Boll, the German table tennis men reached the Olympic final against serial winners China in another thriller. Seasoned Boll, bronze medalists Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Patrick Franziska beat hosts Japan 3-2 and will fight for gold on Friday (12.30 p.m. CEST). The German women, on the other hand, missed the leap into the final.
While Boll (40) became the match winner with wins in doubles and singles, Ovtcharov wrote history: The 32-year-old has certainly his sixth Olympic medal – no other player has reached this mark. However, the two-time European champion is still missing gold. He can get that on Friday, but China is then the clear favorite. Since the team competition premiered in 2008, the table tennis superpower has won all games at the Olympics, including the duels with Germany in the 2008 final and the 2012 semifinals.
“Today every game was important,” said Boll and at the same time assured him: “We should believe in ourselves against China too, this game has to be played first. Of course, China is strong, but we will definitely try it and are great hot.”
Women miss the final
In the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Boll and Franziska (Düsseldorf / Saarbrücken) made sure they got off to a great start with a 3-2 win against Jun Mizutani / Koki Niwa. Ovtcharov lost the top game against 18-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto (1: 3), but Boll restored the old gap against mixed Olympic champion Mizutani (3: 1). After Franziska’s narrow defeat against whiz kid Harimoto (2: 3), Ovtcharov kept his nerve in the decisive match against Niwa (3: 0).
The German women, on the other hand, missed the final. Petrissa Solja, Han Ying and Shan Xiaona lost 3-0 to the top favorites China in a new edition of the 2016 final and are already fighting Hong Kong for bronze on Thursday (4.00 CEST).
“It’s not a broken leg. Tomorrow’s game counts more than today’s game,” said national coach Jie Schöpp. China has won all 16 team encounters 3-0 since 2008, with their opponents only winning twelve sets – one of them was won by sports soldier Solja against Olympic champion Chen Meng on Wednesday.