SRackets, T-shirts and even shoes – 13-year-old Josephina Neumann and her partner Koharu Itagaki (Bad Königshofen), who was the same age, had to sign autographs for everything. “I’ve never experienced anything so blatant,” said Neumann after the doubles match at the German Table Tennis Championships in Nuremberg was only stopped in the final.
The Hessian from TV 1894 Großkarben has been a table tennis pro for a year, goes to school in Frankfurt and already plays in the Bundesliga for ttc berlin eastside. And Neumann has also made a name for herself internationally, leading the world rankings “U13”.
“Couldn’t believe it”
A development that is even faster than it was with Germany’s table tennis ace Timo Boll. Because the now 42-year-old was “already” 14 years old when he won three gold medals at the European School Championships.
And yet reaching the final was a whole new experience for the duo. Neumann: “At first we couldn’t believe it. But then we thought it was super cool that so many people stood behind us.”
The first set in the final even went 11:5 to the blatant outsiders, but then national player Sabine Winter (Schwabhausen) and her partner Sophia Klee (Weinheim) won the doubles title.
“The two little ones did very well,” said Winter after the 3-1 win, which made her rise to the German record champions with seven national doubles titles. But just for comparison: at 30 years, Winter is older than the two finalists who lost out together. So it’s clear who the future will probably belong to.