Who is Timo Boll?
I’m sure that players who enjoy watching international competitions, world championships and Olympics know who is Timo Boll. Well this article probably sound to obvious, but believe me, new players are becoming part of table tennis, and I’m sure they don’t too much about Timo Boll.
Timo Boll (born March 8, 1981) is a German professional table tennis player who currently plays with Borussia Düsseldorf and is the German No.1 of the German Table Tennis National League
Boll was born in Erbach im Odenwald, Hesse. At the age of four, Boll was playing table tennis and at that time was coached by his father. In 1987 he became a member of the TSV Höchst and played there at association level. At the age of eight years he was discovered by Helmut Hampel, a Hessian trainer who promoted him. In 1990, he started to train at the training centre Pfungstadt and four years later changed to FTG Frankfurt with which he took part in the second division, at which time other associations became attentive of him. TTV Gönnern hired him in 1995. Timo Boll was put in position five on the team but, nevertheless, lost only one match in the whole season and thus contributed to the rise of the team in the table tennis national league.
National league and international junior results
At age 14, Timo Boll took together with Frank Klitzsch the title of the youngest player of the national league. Timo Boll celebrated his first international results during the student European championships in Den Haag 1995, where he won three gold medals. After a second place finish in his first junior European Championship 1996, he won during the following two years the title in the singles, in the doubles and with the team. He finished school with a secondary school level I certificate.
In 2002, Timo Boll enlisted the ranks of the world top-10 players with his Europe-Top-12-Tournament victory against Vladimir Samsonov. He reached final of the European Table Tennis Championships in Zagreb in the singles, and in doubles with Zoltan Fejer-Konnerth the gold medal. The German team was defeated in the finale by a score of 2–3, by the Swedish team. With his victory in the Chinese world cup in Jinan (he beat the world champion Wang Liqin and the Olympic champion Kong Linghui clearly), Timo Boll finished the year at first position in the world rankings in January, 2003. During the European-Championship 2003, Vladimir Samsonov led the Belorussian team to the final victory against the German. He was too strong for Timo Boll. After his elimination in the singles world championship in the second round, he lost the rank of the world’s number one table tennis player.
Injury and comeback
Back problems troubled Boll during the first half of 2004. These problems handicapped his preparation for the 2004 Summer Olympics, in which he was outclassed in the quarterfinal by Jan-Ove Waldner. After a period marked by public criticism, Timo Boll registered tournament victories in Poland, Austria and Germany. He also reached the semifinal of the Pro Tour in Peking, where he was edged out 3–4 in games by Ma Lin. Early in the 2005 season, Boll’s back problems struck again; nevertheless, he won the silver medal in doubles with Christian Süß at the World Championship. After correcting a referee’s wrong decision in favour of his opponent in the singles round of sixteen (in which he was defeated), he received the Fair Play Award from the ITTF. The year ended well as he won the Champions League with TTV RE-BAU Gönnern, and the world cup tournament in Liège in Belgium, in which he defeated all three Chinese first-class players. In 2007, he won the European Championship in singles, doubles, and in the team competition.
Draft to Borussia Düsseldorf
In December 2006, Timo Boll signed a 3 year contract with Borussia Dusseldorf. Apart from the financial weakness of his old team and various other considerations, Timo Boll moved for the good training possibilities, in view of the upcoming Olympic Games 2008 and because of the possibility to be able to train there with his doubles partner Christian Süß.
During the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing he participated again with the German national team. After victories over Croatia, Canada, Singapore and Japan in preliminary rounds and the semi-final, the team lost 0–3 against the host Chinese team. As the first-seeded player in 2008, Boll defended his three European Champion titles from the year before.
- World Cup 2002 and 2005
- Single European Champion 2002, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012
- Team European Champion 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011
- Europe Top-12 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2010
- European Super Cup 2007, 2008 and 2009
- ITTF Pro Tour (18) and Grand Finals (1): Brasil 2001, Austria 2002, Japan 2003, Poland, Germany and Austria 2004, Japan, Sweden and Grand Finals 2005, China, Germany and Poland 2006, Austria, Germany and Poland 2008, Qatar, Germany, and Poland 2009, Japan 2010.
- Double: European Championship 2002 (together with Zoltan Fejer-Konnerth), 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 (together with Christian Süß), Japan Open 2005, Pro Tour Grand Final 2005, 2009 (together with Christian Süß)
- Double: 2nd position World Championship 2005, 3rd position European Championship 2005 together with Christian Süß
- Team: 2nd position Olympic Games 2008; 3rd position Olympic Games 2012; 2nd position European Championship 2000, 2002, 2003, 2nd position World Championship 2004, 2010; 3rd position World Championship 2006.
- German Championship: 9-times Single-Winner (1998, 2001–2007,2009), 3-times Double-Winner (1999 together with Lars Hielscher, 2005 and 2007 together with Christian Süß
- Champions League: Winner 2005 and 2006 with TTV RE-BAU Gönnern
- 3rd position Qatar and Kuwait Open Single 2007
- 3rd position World Championship Single 2003, 2006
- As the first German number one of the world table tennis rankings (January 2003)