All good things come in fives
At the end, they hugged each other and shouted with joy, it seemed like they would have won a gold medal. Although this time it was only a bronze medal which the German national team brought from the Olympics in Rio. After a changeful tournament, some disappointments in singles competition and a defeat in the semi-final against Japan in team competition, some people were even afraid that the German table tennis selection could go home without any medal.
However, the ones who were afraid didn’t consider DONIC star Dimitrij Ovtcharov. The 27-year old European Champion remained unbeaten in the whole team competition.
At the opening of the round of the best sixteen, Dima achieved a 3:1 (9,-7,7,7) against Chuang Chih-Yuan, the seventh of the world-ranking list from Taiwan. In the quarter final a 3:0 (7,10,8) against Austria’s best player, Stefan Fegerl, at least number 20 in the world. In the semi-final Dima very clearly won over the Japanese Maharu Yoshimura with 3:0 (8,3,3) which was one place after Fegerl and finally he won over Joo Se Hyuk the best defensive player in the world in the match about the bronze medal with 3:2 (5,9,-8,-2,6). During two sets the DONIC star Dima was superior over the South Korean plyer, but then he became better and better. “That’s where Joo is known for”, explained Ovtcharov, “he always gets enormously better during the match. I’ve caught a super start, but then he became stronger and stronger. I even was a bit exhausted in the fourth set, he admitted, but I was able to pull myself together again. Fortunately: as this was very important for our team.”
Absolutely. The European Champion opened the door to the victory for the German team and with the 3:1 success over South Korea there finally was a happy end.
For Dimitrij Ovtcharov this was the fourth medal at the Olympic Games, 2008 in Beijing he had won silver with the team, 2012 in London the bronze medal in singles competition and with the team. No other European table tennis player had ever won four Olympic medals by now. In this point DONIC star Dima is even ahead of super star Jan-Ove Waldner. The genius Swede was like Ovtcharov a DONIC partner through his whole career, won the gold medal in Barcelona in 1992 and 2000 the silver medal in the singles in Sydney.
The ones who know how ambitious Ovtcharov is, they also know that he won’t be satisfied with that. With Tokyo 2020 in mind, he would surely say: “All good things come in fives.”