By Neha Aggarwal
Competing at The Men’s World Cup has always been a bumpy ride for the 2015 European Champion. Dimitrij Ovtcharov has been struggling to make it to the penultimate stage of this prestigious tournament; the highest accomplishment has been a bronze medal in both 2015 and 2013 editions.
Confidence against the Chinese and Samsonov
Interestingly, since 2010, the Chinese have been winning the Men’s World Cup without any fail. The current world number six and seeded third in the tournament, Ovtcharov is seeking to finally break the status quo.
“In The 2013 World Cup semi-final against Xu Xin, I had a good chance to win, I was leading 3-2 and in the sixth game, I was leading 6-4. I won against Yan An (China) 4-2 in the group stage. This year, the chance is REALLY big; I am hoping for a big shot this World Cup”
But the European Cup winner has had his own stressful times in all the major tournaments this year. At 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year, Ovtcharov was injured and thus could not participate.
and, we can never forget his recent horrifying loss to Vladimir Samsonov at the Olympic Games a month back.
Although he has competed against Samsonov many times now, but the defeat at the Olympic Games is much heavier because Olympics are once in four years. He admits that the defeat at Rio hurts a lot more and a win over Samsonov will certainly feel much better.
“To win against him will be satisfying to me to show that maybe I am better skilled and deserve the higher the ranking.”
But how has he been preparing to make this happen?
Ovtcharov explained that he took some time off post the Olympic Games to refresh him mind and come back to the game with new hopes and energy for the rest of the season.
Confident about his game, Ovtcharov says, ” I have been practicing intense in the last two weeks, I feel ready and will just enjoy at the World Cup without being under pressure.”
Yoga: The stress reliever
Competing at the highest level for any professional athlete can be stressful as he/she is constantly under the public eye and the added media pressure. This coupled with long and intense hours of training, can sometimes be stressful.
How does Ovtcharov overcome such pressure?
The answer is YOGA!
He reveals the secret, “As a world class player, I experience many stressful days. Its been 2 years since I have been practicing yoga and meditation. Yoga helps to clear my mind and recharge my battery faster. Meditation helps me get some time for myself; its just me and my body. I like it a lot.”
Emma: The gift of life
Ovtcharov is also a proud father of his month old beautiful daughter Emma. After her birth, his life has changed only in a positive way.
He rejoices, ” I am always so excited to come home after practice. I miss her when I am away, so I always Facetime with with her so that I can see her as much as possible. It is a unique and special feeling and fulfills me with just happiness.”
With these renewed energies and motives in life, Dimitrij Ovtcharov seems confident and is pumped up to be the victorious one at The Liebherr 2016 Mens World Cup.
Will he break the status quo?
An action packed weekend awaits in Saarbrücken. Follow LIVE on itTV from 1-3rd October.