The European Team Championships in Sweden is one of the most important dates of the year for German table tennis. Nevertheless, the national coach Jörg Roßkopf is not there.
The German men’s table tennis national team will compete at the European Team Championships in Sweden without their national coach Jörg Roßkopf.
To better prepare for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the double world champion from 1989 will hold a training phase lasting several weeks with the top players Dang Qiu, Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Patrick Franziska parallel to the European Championships. The German EM team around record European champion Timo Boll will be looked after in Malmö by Roßkopf’s close confidante Lars Hielscher, who is the head trainer of the German Table Tennis Center in Düsseldorf. The first EM opponent is Finland on Sunday (7:00 p.m. / DYN).
“For me it is important to have the big goal of the Olympics in mind,” said Roßkopf of the German Press Agency. And for top players like Olympic bronze medalist Ovtcharov or individual European champion Dang Qiu, given the many international competitions in the new World Table Tennis (WTT) tournament series, the following applies: “The players have trained far too little and played far too many games.”
The consequence was: “That’s why I’m not satisfied with the form of the players and that’s why I unfortunately have to subordinate a European championship to that,” Roßkopf continued. “It’s actually crazy: The European Championship is a big tournament, an Olympic place is being played – and the German team is playing there without the current numbers one, two and three.”
The 54-year-old speaks of a “crazy situation that has currently arisen in table tennis. I just have to have the foresight and say: That’s important to us, and that’s important for German table tennis. And there it’s exactly like in important in recent years that we win medals like at the Olympic Games,” said Roßkopf. The 42-year-old Boll is also only taking part in the European Team Championships because he urgently needs competition practice after an injury break of several months.