by Simon Daish
The year 2016 has on the whole been relatively strong for Bastian Steger with his highlight moment coming at Rio 2016 in August where he won a bronze medal in the Men’s Team event with Germany, following a 3-1 victory over Korea Republic in the battle for the final podium spot.
Fast forward a few months to December and Steger’s attention has shifted to the next edition of the German Championships which are scheduled to take place in March 2017 and the 35-year-old, who was born in the Bavarian town of Oberviechtach, is delighted to see the prestigious competition returning to the region.
“It has always been my dream to become a German champion. The fact that it happened at home was, of course, perfect. In Bamberg it has already gone very well for me, it would be great if it could work again in 2017. To be able to play in the Bavarian homeland, unfortunately rarely happens for me, so it is always something special for me”, Bastian Steger.
The list of former German champions includes the likes of Jörg Rosskopf, Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov and while Bastian Steger is aiming to pick up his third Men’s Singles crown he fully understands the challenges he faces along the way:
“There is no one among us nationals, who says the German Championships are not interesting. It is special to have the single title in your pocket, and when you have won it then you just want to win again because it feels so super. The German Championships remain a high priority no matter what other tournaments we play, whether it’s the Olympic Games or the World Cup”, Bastian Steger.
Bamberg hosts the competition for the third occasion, having previously done so in 2011 and then in 2013. The Sporting Director of the German Table Tennis team Richard Prause is looking forward to seeing the German Championships return to the town: “Bamberg has a very large table tennis tradition,” said Prause before adding: “It is not the first time that the German Table Tennis Association is a guest in Bamberg and I am sure that Bamberg will once again be very, very good hosts. The best table tennis players in Germany are looking forward to playing here and playing against the German champions.”