by Simon Daish
Confidence is high in the German camp as both the men’s and women’s teams travel to Luxembourg as title favourites.
“Everyone is fit, there are no injuries. It’s a good start.” That was the message from the respective men’s and women’s head coaches Jörg Rosskopf and Jie Schöpp ahead of the first practice night, while World no.4 Dimitrij Ovtcharov stated that he and his teammates are determined to emerge from the tournament as Europe’s best:
“The two finals in 2014 and 2015 have hurt, we want to get the title back home”, Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
Dimitrij Ovtcharov will be joined by Timo Boll, Ruwen Filus, Bastian Steger and Ricardo Walther as representatives of the team in the Men’s Championship Division as Germany attempts to lift the trophy for the first time since 2013.
Germany missed out on the title at both the 2014 and 2015 editions of the European Championships, but a positive outing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro resulted in a fantastic bronze medal finish for the team and coach Jörg Rosskopf believes that his side is well positioned to enjoy a strong campaign in Luxembourg.
“We showed at the Olympics that we are still the best team in Europe and want to be the best in Luxembourg. The biggest competitors in the fight for the title are Portugal, Austria, France and Sweden”, Jörg Rosskopf.
Competing as top seeds in both the Men’s Championship Division and Women’s Championship Division, Germany heads into the 2017 European Championships with high expectations but as DTTB sporting director Richard Prause points out anything can happen in table tennis and both teams could face stern challenges in the hunt for European glory.
“We have a special team with an exciting group. The title win is not automatic despite our position as favourites”, DTTB sporting director Richard Prause.