Men continue without Boll: German table tennis teams fight for gold

Men continue without Boll
German table tennis teams fight for gold

The German Table Tennis Association is at the European Games in Kraków with both teams in the final. After the women’s 3-0 win against Portugal, the men are following suit, also against the Iberians. National coach Jörg Roßkopf will continue to do without superstar Timo Boll.

The German table tennis teams entered the finals at the European Games in Kraków in lockstep – but Timo Boll’s comeback is still a long way off. The German men clearly beat Portugal 3:1 in the semi-finals, the record European champions were not yet used. Boll also watched the quarter-finals against Belgium (3-0) on Thursday as a spectator.

On Friday, Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Patrick Franziska lost their doubles against the Portuguese duo Joao Geraldo and Tiago Apolonia 0:3. However, Dang Qiu, Ovtcharov and Franziska then each won their singles 3-0, and Germany will play Sweden in the final on Saturday (6:15 p.m.). Then the German women will also play for gold, starting at 2.30 p.m. against Romania.

On Friday, the team also defeated Portugal 3-0, Nina Mittelham and Shan Xiaona won the doubles, Ying Han and Xiaona followed with singles wins. On Monday, Mittelham and Qiu had already won gold for Germany in mixed doubles.

It is questionable whether Boll will still play in the team final. He hasn’t played a competitive game since February, a shoulder injury slowed the 42-year-old down. Above all, Boll wanted to use the team competition in Poland “to get a taste of things”, his big goal is the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

It was “nice to feel this old routine again, especially the old tournament routine,” Boll said after the quarter-finals: “Because these are the first units here with a partner, I listen to a lot in my body. After three months there is a break You don’t have that much confidence in your own body yet. But my level is already better than I thought. If there’s a need, I’ll definitely step in here.”

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