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The German team wins over the United States – Paul cancels participation

The German team wins over the United States – Paul cancels participation

The German table tennis team made a successful start at the World Team Championships in South Korea without their most famous player, Timo Boll. Patrik Franziska (1. FC Saarbrücken), Dang Qiu (Borussia Düsseldorf) and Dimitrij Ovcharov (TTC Neu-Ulm) won their opening match against the United States 3-0 on Friday.

Turbulent days before the start of the World Cup

From a German perspective, the last few days before the World Cup in Busan have been very turbulent. Former world number one Ovcharov's handbag, along with his passport, wallet and table tennis rackets, were stolen on his way to the airport, and shortly after the opening win over the USA, Paul was finally forced to cancel his participation in the World Team Cup. This was announced by the German Table Tennis Association (DTTB) on Friday. The 42-year-old man has been suffering from uveitis in his right eye since the beginning of the week.

“I'm really disappointed that I'll miss the World Championships in Busan, especially because I felt good physically and my form was good,” said Paul, who himself had the infection checked on Friday morning. To treat this and treat it so that the optic nerve is not permanently damaged.

It is no longer possible to nominate a replacement

Until recently, national coach Jörg Roskopf and DTTB sporting director Richard Prowse had hoped that Paul would be able to travel to his 21st world championship. The German national team now continues with four players, and it is no longer possible to nominate an alternative.

Paul continued: “I congratulate the Odenwald team, they are a very strong team even without me and will have a wonderful World Cup.” The DTTB team will face Saudi Arabia in the second match of Group B on Saturday. Other opponents are England and Kazakhstan. Germany has never won any title in the tournament's nearly 100-year history. But the first goal in Busan is to reach the quarter-finals in order to qualify for the team competition at the Olympic Games in Paris.