Boll breaks his own rib – and still wins the title
Alongside FC Bayern and the Spandau 04 water polo team, Borussia Düsseldorf is the most successful sports club in Germany. The Rhinelanders now won the championship again. Table tennis star Timo Boll struggled extremely for the triumph.
VOf all twelve championship titles with Borussia Düsseldorf, this one was probably the most painful for Timo Boll. Because the European table tennis champion appeared in the 3-2 playoff final of the Bundesliga against 1. FC Saarbrücken with a broken rib, as the Düsseldorf team has now confirmed.
“For some time now, I’ve been banging my elbow into my side before hitting with my backhand instead of pushing it past my body,” said Boll. He played in the World Cup semi-finals in Houston in November with an abdominal muscle injury, but he didn’t want to address this new handicap and certainly didn’t want to blame it for his defeat against Saarbrücken’s Slovenian Darko Jorgic.
“After all these years, he’s used to not going to the table 100 percent fit, so it doesn’t drive me crazy anymore, while others would be totally stressed out mentally. In the game I probably didn’t feel anything because of the adrenaline itself.” Compared to the back pain he used to have, even the pain of a broken rib is “a piece of shit,” said the 41-year-old: “We’re just enjoying the moment and are happy about this win after a great season.”
His Borussia is one of the three most successful sports clubs in Germany, along with the footballers from Bayern Munich and the water polo players from Spandau 04. 32 championship titles are a lone record in German table tennis, Boll has been involved in twelve of them since 2006. If you add up league titles, cup victories and European Cup triumphs, the Düsseldorfers still don’t know whether they have won a total of 76 or just 75 titles.
Russians in legal dispute with Boll’s club
Because an irrevocable decision is still pending as to whether Borussia will be stripped of the Champions League victory in 2022 or not. The European association ETTU had excluded the two Russian semi-finalists from Orenburg and Yekaterinburg after Russia’s attack on Ukraine from the competition and declared the defending champion Düsseldorf the champions league winner after its semi-final success against Saarbrücken.
The Russian clubs appealed against this, and the ETTU Court of Appeal agreed with them. But this time the association requested a review of the decision. “I’m very excited myself, because the verdict will have an impact on the entire sporting world,” said Boll.
As far as the never-ending duel with Saarbrücken is concerned, his team in Frankfurt/Main managed to get their second revenge for the lost cup final in January (1:3). A year after the Düsseldorf triple win, the difference in performance between the two permanent rivals is becoming smaller and smaller.
On his 30th birthday, the German national player Patrick Franziska had the chance to perfect the second Saarbrücken championship after 2020. But with the score at 2:1 for FCS, he lost in 1:3 sets against Anton Källberg. Kristian Karlsson and Dang Qiu then won the decisive double for Düsseldorf. “The final was like a rollercoaster of emotions,” said coach Danny Heister.