By: ITTF-March 13, 2012: Jörg Rosskopf, At the LIEBHERR World Team Championships in Bremen in 2006 it was the bronze medal for Germany in the men’s event; four years later when the tournament returned to Europe it was the silver medal in Moscow. On both occasions Germany was beaten by China, on both occasions the result was three-one, on both occasions the one winner for Germany was Timo BOLL; in the semi-final in Bremen he beat MA Lin, in Moscow he accounted for MA Long.
The burning question is: on home soil at the forthcoming LIEBHERR World Team Championships, which will be staged in the German city of Dortmund from Sunday 25th March to Sunday 1st April 2012; can Germany progress one step higher, can they overcome China?
It is a prodigious task against a country whose players – MA Long, ZHANG Jike, WANG Hao, XU Xin – occupy the top four places on the current Men’s World Ranking list.
However, with home support, could that provide the key for what would be a major upset? German National Men’s Team Coach, Jörg ROSSKOPF, is confident that his players will respond to the challenge.
“My players can cope with the pressure”, said Jörg ROSSKOPF. “They know what it is like to play in front of 10,000 spectators.
It is an atmosphere which is not alien to Jörg ROSSKOPF, in fact quite the reverse; in the Westfalenhallen, at the 1989 World Championships, the same hall as will be used this year’s LIEBHERR World Team Championships, Jörg ROSSKOPF and Steffen FETZNER, urged forward on the crest of wave by a fanatical crowd, won the Men’s Doubles title. The win gave “Rossi and Speedy” a special place in the annals of German table tennis; they are the only German male players ever to strike gold at a World Table Tennis Championships.
In Dortmund, can today’s German stars emulate the achievements of Rossi and Speedy?
However, before medals can be contemplated, the first stage of proceedings must be successfully negotiated; in the first phase Germany is drawn in the same group Portugal, Singapore, the Czech Republic, Spain and Serbia. The teams finishing in the first three places in each of four groups progress to compete for the top 12 places. In their opening fixture; Germany faces the Czech Republic, the contest scheduled to start at 1.00pm on the first day of play, Sunday 25th March 2012.
The LIEBHERR 2012 World Table Tennis Championships will be held in Dortmund from 25 Mar – 1 Apr 2012. The International Table Tennis Federation is responsible for the global sport of table tennis and has 215 affiliated National Associations. Table Tennis is an Olympic Sport, introduced at the 1988 Seoul Olympics Games. Table Tennis is also a Paralympic Sport
Regular reports of the action can be found at the event specific webpage. Please use the links below. Photo: Simone Hinz