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Table tennis god Boll as a "lucky bag" - but with a big goal: turn back time again

2022-08-17T12:05:25.352Z

Table tennis god Boll as a "lucky bag" - but with a big goal: turn back time again Created: 08/17/2022, 1:55 p.m By: Nico-Marius Schmitz Can he make another great appearance? Table tennis legend Timo Boll. Munich will certainly be one of the last international appearances of my career in front of my home fans. Timo Boll © dpa He has won almost everything in table tennis. The 41-year-old defend



Table tennis god Boll as a "lucky bag" - but with a big goal: turn back time again

Created: 08/17/2022, 1:55 p.m

By: Nico-Marius Schmitz

Can he make another great appearance?

Table tennis legend Timo Boll.

Munich will certainly be one of the last international appearances of my career in front of my home fans. Timo Boll © dpa

He has won almost everything in table tennis.

The 41-year-old defending champion Timo Boll is still considered a grab bag at the European Championships.

Munich - For Timo Boll, the Hollywood classic "... Groundhog Day" should actually be one of his favorite films.

Because like the ritual in the cult meteorologist comedy, participation in major events for the German table tennis star turns out to be a nail-biter every year because of sometimes more and sometimes less serious injuries.

Before his entry into the Munich European Championship, the defending champion is once again considered a "lucky bag" due to the long-term effects of his broken rib.

Under these circumstances - Boll only gave the green light last Thursday after an endurance test - the typical reluctance of the 20-times (!) European Championship champion when formulating goals is not surprising.

"In terms of shape," said Boll before his first match on Wednesday after the first training session in the EM hall, "in terms of shape, I'm not where I want to be.

But I hope that I can still improve.”

After the record title winner has participated 17 times in 24 years, his rivals should feel more warned than reassured by such tones.

Just a year ago, Boll stunned the continental competition with a firework of enthusiasm and won his eighth individual title after recovering from a neuritis in his back.

At the end of 2021, the former world number one even won World Cup bronze with a torn abdominal muscle.

Nevertheless, Boll's understatement seems more credible before the EM home game than on many previous occasions.

His perhaps toughest opponent seems to be getting harder and harder to beat: at 41, Boll has to turn back time more and more often.

Boll, now formally only number four in the German European Championship team, naturally feels it.

However, because the “lord of the balls” no longer has to prove anything to anyone, the Düsseldorfer has also focused on softer factors than the hard medal currency.

Big events like the European Championships on the Isar, says the native of the Odenwald, “there aren’t that many in Germany.

That's one more reason why I'm trying." Because the German Table Tennis Association's application for the 2025 World Championships will not be decided until winter, Boll is already counting on Munich's farewell to the large audience in his own country: "Munich will definitely be one of the last international appearances of my career in front of my home fans.”

At least for his longtime adversary and national team colleague Dimitrij Ovtcharov (33), Boll is once again one of the gold contenders, not least because of the "piñata effect": "I definitely see him as one of the favourites.

Due to his many successes at the tournament, he simply has a lot more peace of mind than everyone else.

It's just his tournament.” NICO-MARIUS SCHMITZ

Source: merkur

All sports articles on 2022-08-17

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