dthe successful career of Timo Boll is expanded with another important chapter: the table tennis veteran will participate in the Olympic Games this summer for the seventh time. This would make the 43-year-old the Olympic record holder in his sport, along with five others.

Again German Table Tennis Association (DTTB) announced on Tuesday that Boll will not be proposed for the individual competition in Paris, but should play for a medal with the team. The final decision will be made by the nomination committee of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) in May at the earliest.

Mystery about the German team

In the individual category, Germany's number one and Olympic debutant, Dang Qiu, as well as Olympic medalist Dimitrij Ovtcharov Begin. Patrick Franziska takes on the role of substitute player.

The decision had never been made before by the national coach Jörg Rosskopf It was very difficult, there had never been so much mystery about the German squad before. With Qiu, Ovtcharov, Boll, Franziska and Benedikt Duda, five players battled for the coveted starting spots. It is not surprising that Boll was not proposed for the individual competition.

After a long shoulder injury, he once again attracted attention with impressive performances, winning the WTT tournament in Doha in January and reaching the quarter-finals in Singapore a few weeks ago. At the same time, however, Qiu presented himself in a way too strong; In any case, Ovtcharov was considered more or less calm. Boll's big dream of finally winning an individual Olympic medal in Paris was finally shattered.

Timo Boll fights with his team for a medal at the Olympic Games.

Timo Boll fights with his team for a medal at the Olympic Games.

Image: dpa

In the end, however, he may be more than satisfied with his starting spot on the team's roster. Because he wasn't sure at all. While Franziska is currently ranked 16th in the world, the 43-year-old is ranked 27th.

Due to an eye infection, he was prevented from participating in the world team championship in February, which gave him an important opportunity to perform on a big stage. At the same time, Franziska recently impressed with very strong performances and was able to beat table tennis legend Ma Long from China and Ovtcharov in Singapore.

“It was a very difficult and very tough decision,” Roßkopf told FAZ. The decisive factor was Boll's victories in January and at the Singapore Smash against top players, experience and respect from opponents. “But in the end it is a decision that can be discussed in both directions,” emphasized the national coach. “But we also know that we absolutely need Patrick because we have an injury-prone team.” We need it in the preparation, in Paris and in any case in the future.


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