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Timo Boll - Table Tennis

Timo Boll - Table Tennis

Born on March 8, 1981 in Erbach im Odenwald, Hesse, Germany, Timo Ball is a table tennis player who will represent his country in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Boll is the #1 ranked player in Germany and the #4 ranked player in the world. Already experiencing a great deal of success throughout the professional ranks, Timo has reached the heights of table tennis at every level except in the World Championships and the Olympic Games.

Timo came incredibly close to Olympic Gold at Beijing in 2008 but ultimately missed out. That’s also his story on the World Championship tables. He has taken silver multiple times but just cannot seem to get over the hump and win gold, either plagued by injuries or just bad luck. Boll will play as an individual and with his team in this year’s upcoming Games as he attempts to finally clear one of the last hurdles of his career.

Sporting Career

Timo Boll began playing table tennis before he was even 4 years old. By the time he was 8, he was already being scouted by Helmut Hampel, a top player, for a table tennis league. By 1995, Boll was already playing for TTV Gonnern and only lost one match for the entire season. He would win three gold medals this year in the student Euro championships, and in 1996 he claimed a silver medal in the European Junior Championships. He would go on to win multiple medals playing as a junior, but his biggest successes were still yet to come.

2002 was a breakout year for Timo. He joined up with the top players in Europe to play in the European Table Tennis Championships. He had won two silver medals here previously as part of a team, but this is the first time Boll would strike gold as an individual and as a doubles player. 2003 was another good year for Boll, but soon serious back problems would knock him out of contention for most of 2004.

Although Boll still entered and competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, he was ousted in the quarterfinals by Jan-Ove Waldner after the pace of the match proved too much for Timo. Then just when Boll started to get things back on track the next year, his back problems would strike again and disrupt his training. He still managed to win silver as the World Championships, but he was noticeably not the same player. 

Boll and the Germans were in great shape entering the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. After playing incredible table tennis to beat the Canadians, the Croatians and then beating Singapore and Japan, Germany ran into China playing some of the best table tennis in history. They would lose the match 0-3 and take home the silver.
After the Olympics, something seemed to click with Boll. His back has been relatively healthy, he has a good home on a solid club now, and he has been playing smooth, fast, effective table tennis, winning the past 3 European Championships (making 5 in a row).

Career Highlights

  • 2000 European Championships – Silver
  • 2002 World Cup – Gold
  • 2002 European Championships – Gold (2)
  • 2004 World Championships – Silver
  • 2005 World Championships – Silver
  • 2007 European Championships – Gold (3)
  • 2008 European Championships – Gold (3)
  • 2008 Olympic Games – Silver
  • 2009 European Championships – Gold (2)
  • 2010 European Championships – Gold (3)
  • 2011 European Championships – Gold (2)
  • 2012 Summer Olympics – Bronze (team)

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