(By Oliver Trust)
Despite latest defeats and problems with the new ball used in international competition, China’s table tennis stars are still the world’s leading fraction, said German Timo Boll.
“We managed to close the gap a little bit, but they still rule table tennis,” the German number two and former first of world rankings said in a recent Xinhua interview.
“When it comes to technique, athleticism, and speed they are the best,” the three times World Champion commented.
Despite latest defeats of Chinese top-ranked performers at the World Cup, Boll does not see a change of guards.
“I would not speak about a change of guards. To say that is far too much. And don’t forget, Dimitri (Ovtcharov) and I have to invest a lot trying to keep our current high level. When beating some of the Chinese we had reached the ultimate,” Boll emphasized. To beat top Chinese players, everything has to work perfectly for the German challengers.
Some call Boll an evergreen in table tennis. The German number two is the only one over 35 years among the top ten in the current world rankings. Turning 37 in March 2018 the fan of the football sides Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt is said to be in his golden years.
German national coach Joerg Rosskopf expects Boll to continue at a top level until 2020 and beyond. “He does not have to think about retirement. He is an exceptionally gifted player, which allows him to play at such a high level since over ten years,” the former German international said.
Boll confirmed to play until 2020. “When I stay fit, I have some more years to go. I still love this sport,” the Hessen-born athlete said.
Boll said he would retire “when you can hardly train or attend competitions without feeling any pain.” Boll said he is undergoing regular medical checks every two weeks and is keeping training and competition efforts in balance.
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