Winner just over one year ago, Germany’s Timo Boll will defend his men’s singles title at the forthcoming 2022 European Championships. Staged in Munich, play in the nine day tournament starts in the Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle on Saturday 13th August.
On Thursday 11th August, Jörg Rosskopf, the German men’s national team coach, dismissed any speculation that injury may prevent the now 41-year-old competing.
“The stress tests of the past few days in Höchst went well. The European Championships can come for Timo,” Jörg Rosskopf
A debut in Eindhoven in 1998, Timo Boll will be making no less than his 18th appearance in the tournament; moreover, he seeks to repeat the success of when a 21-year-old.
Held in the Dom Sportova sports hall in Zagreb from Saturday 30th March to Sunday 7th April 2002, the first occasion when the celebrated tournament witnessed games to 11 points and not 21 points, Timo Boll won for the first time.
A landmark win, now a familiar occasion; when he prevailed in the Arena COS Torwar in Warsaw last year, he claimed the title for the eighth time.
There is no player near him; next in line are Sweden’s Mikael Appelgren and Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, each won three times.
It is a remarkable feat, the goal to succeed for a ninth time. Could it be the most severe test since his first win now two decades ago?
Sweden’s Truls Moregard is the top seed, the runner up at the 2021 World Championships in Houston, beating Timo Boll in the semi-finals; next in line is Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic followed the German duo of Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Dang Qiu.
Timo Boll is the no.5 seed ahead of colleague Patrick Franziska.
Title defended, in the women’s singles Petrissa Solja, the winner last year in Warsaw, does not compete; injury has forced withdrawal.
German colleagues Han Ying and Nina Mittelham occupy the respective top seeded places; next on the list is Austria’s Sofia Polcanova. She is followed by a further German in the guise of Shan Xiaona, the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova and Yuan Jia Nan of France.
However, there are former champions on duty, Romania’s Elizabeta Samara, successful in 2015 in Ekaterinburg, is the no.9 seed, two places lower is Luxembourg’s Ni Xia Lian, a player of longevity that makes even Timo Boll appear a newcomer!
Crowned mixed doubles World champion, now 40 years ago in 1983, she won the European women’s singles title in 1998 in Eindhoven and in 2002 in Zagreb.
The absence of Petrissa Solja means the women’s doubles title is not defended; last year she partnered Shan Xiaona to gold; equally, Russia’s Maksim Grebnev and Lev Katsman do not defend the men’s doubles crown.
Somewhat differently, in the mixed doubles, Dang Qiu and Nina Mittelham seek a repeat performance.
Whatever the outcome, a testing schedule awaits.
- Men’s Singles: 116 players, 32 seeds, 84 players in qualification
- Women’s Singles: 108 players, 32 seeds, 76 players in qualification
- Men’s Doubles: 52 pairs, 16 seeded pairs, 36 pairs in qualification
- Women’s Doubles: 51 pairs, 16 seeded pairs, 35 pairs in qualification
- Mixed Doubles: 58 pairs, 16 seeded pairs, 42 pairs in qualification
In both the men’s singles and women’s singles, players finishing in first position in each of 24 groups qualify for the main draw; players in second positions in each group compete in two preliminary rounds to determine the remaining eight main draw places.
In the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles, qualification involves two preliminary rounds.
Seeding is based on the 2022 ITTF Table Tennis World Rankings for week no.28, Tuesday 12th July.
Play commences with the mixed doubles, women’s doubles and men’s doubles events.