“I would like to win the title for the 3 time but the injury and my training deficit will make it difficult”, stated German player speaking about LIEBHERR 2018 ITTF European Championships in Alicante, Spain (18-23 Sep 2018)
Two-time European champion Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, current World no. 5, claims he will fight for his third title at the LIEBHERR 2018 ITTF European Championships in Alicante, Spain (18-23 Sep 2018), in spite of not reaching peak of his form. He has been forced to withdraw from the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open in Bremen, during his opening round Men’s Singles encounter on Friday 23rd March.
But, it`s not first time for him to fight with the time in attempt to return in best possible shape. Two years ago in Budapest, he faced same problem after 2016 Rio Olympics, being upset by Poland`s Jakub DYJAS in the Round 2 of LIEBHERR 2016 ITTF European Championships in Budapest. After that defeat, OVTCHAROV explained:
“I have to accept that I will not be always the best player in the hall. At some point my dominance will stop. I am not in best of shape. It was not enough time to recover after Olympic Games. On top of all Dyjas was the better player today. Maybe it would have been a different scenario if I had won the second game. I had good opportunity, I missed it and the match went on different direction”.
Now, we did an interview with him, speaking about forthcoming Championships in Alicante, as well as titles he won in 2013 Schwechat (Austria) and 2015 Yekaterinburg (Russia)…
How do you spend the time until 2018 Euro Championships?
“After my injury I am finally fit again. In order to get back to a top level I have to train intensively every day. At the moment we are preparing ourselves in a national team training camps.”
You were not in your best shape two years ago, some weeks after 2016 Rio Olympics. Are you ready now to regain the title?
“Of course, I would like to win the title for the 3 time but the injury and my training deficit will make it difficult. So I will do not put pressure on myself. Anyhow I always believe in myself and believe that everything is possible.”
Whom do you consider as your biggest rivals for the title and why?
“Timo (BOLL) is definitely the favourite for the title. FREITAS is a candidate too. I also think that PITCHFORD is not to be underestimated. After his victories against MA Long and me, he has great self-confidence.
Regarding young players, who are capable to create upset?
“JORGIC plays very well and is a dangerous player. I also trust Truls (MOREGARD) to have a successful future.”
Can you share some your recollections from 2013 and 2015 championships and what was turning point to win gold medals?
“In both events I was in top form and did not lose a match, either in the team or individual. I truly believed in the victory weeks before the tournament. The attitude and faith were the keys to the success in the end.”