Before I reveal my top 3 candidates for the Gold, silver and Bronze, here’s my WILD CARD!
Everyone knows Timo, possibly the biggest name in our sport today and is the Roger Federer of TT. Timo is a few months older than me and I was in awe of him when I saw him win the junior Europeans back in the late 90’s. I remember watching his world ranking sky rocket as soon as he left the junior category and in 2002 he was world no.1.
Was he the new Waldner, and was Timo going to be a world and Olympic champion?! Back then I told everyone around me he would never win a worlds or Olympics!
Why, because I felt he lacked power and speed. He’s mindset is possibly the best I’ve ever seen in our sport. He is able to analyse a situation and with a computer like processing system solve and make the right decision. Timo has a gift that very few have (brain power) which means he does not need to use his physicality as much compared to others to gain excellent results! In simple terms his biggest strength is also his weakness. I know he does not put in the extra hours unlike Dima and I know he is content just playing. Therefore he’s not tapping into his full physical capacity and that has stopped him from winning the two biggest titles on the planet!
- Highest world ranking no.1
- World Cup winner
- 8x European Champion
Can Timo really win?
Well he comes into the games in good physical and mental shape but even though he has beaten everyone in the circuit he is not truly feared by the Chinese. This is because his physical presence on the table is a lot less compared to both Ma and FZD. Timo has less power, less speed and less endurance compared to them both.
I have put Timo as a wild card pick which puts him in between 4th and 3rd spot, for my pick of potential gold medalist. Timo, is (possibly) tactically the best player in the world but if you have a Ford and you race a Ferrari, no matter what lines you hit the Ferrari will often out muscle, out power and over speed your great skills…
Why Timo can win the Olympic Gold!
His expectations are low, he is happy just competing (aged 40). He just won the European championships and is looking as strong as he was 10 years ago. When it comes to the latter stages Timo’s expectations remain low and his joy of reaching those stages will be amplified. For the others the tension and nerves will only be heightened. When tension kicks in your weaknesses are exposed even more and Timo will capitalise on it.
I think the world would erupt in joy if Timo won, but we must factor the issues mentioned above and be realistic. Timo’s age, physicality and skill level (power and speed) is limited which may be one step too far from taking the gold medal…
Please share your thoughts and comments.