11-year-old Zoe-Loreen Sommer from Oberstdorf caused quite a stir with great success. At the end of the week, she fights for the German championship – for women.
If the children’s room of an 11-year-old is decorated with titles for four Bavarian championships in table tennis, then perhaps the term “best talent” is not so far-fetched. Zoe-Loreen Sommer is participating in her first German Championships at Schwarzenbeck near Hamburg this weekend – in the C performance category.
Table tennis takes a lot of time
The girl from Oberstdorf, who has been doing classes since she was four, is currently in the fifth grade at the local high school. When Zoe-Loren was asked about activities other than table tennis and school, she began to think. “You can see how much time this sport actually takes,” smiles her father and coach Ralph Sommer. However, she still has many hobbies like mini golf, sledding, and playing with her cats.
Seven years ago, Zoe-Loreen stood at a table tennis table for the first time while training at DJK Seifriedsberg. Only a year later she moved to her local club TSV Oberstdorf. “When I noticed you were really enjoying it, we wanted to switch to TSV. Here, though, training times were problematic, which were simply too late for young children,” says Ralph Somer. For this reason, the 47-year-old made youth coaching his own mission: “I asked the club if I could get into the hall early with my daughter and a few of her friends. At first, we trained only a few times a week, then the whole thing quickly developed. Zoe-Lauren gained her first championship-level experience in 2019. At the time she placed second in the “mini-championship,” the junior tournament. This successful premiere was followed by several other successes (see overview at the end of the page).
no pain no gain
Starting next season, Zoe-Loreen will start for three TSV Oberstdorf teams. In addition to the youth and women’s first team, she will compete alongside her father for the men’s “first”. “This is the most important thing to me. I’ve always dreamed of this, but I never thought it would work so quickly. I’m really looking forward to our playing together,” says Ralph Sommer. Zoe-Loreen got this opportunity through a lot of hard training. Plus Six weekly training sessions at TSV Oberstdorf, training at the base in Thannhausen is on the agenda every Tuesday.Once a month, the father-daughter team also spends the weekend in Steinheim an der Murr near Stuttgart, where they complete ten hours of training with Former Hungarian player Szilvia Kahn: “I am benefiting greatly from this. “The training has given me a real boost,” says Zoe Loren. Father Ralph says: “I got 95 percent of my knowledge of table tennis from her. Szilvia has already led many players to the top of the world. I would say that it is the secret of our success.”
Mathematically, Zoe Loren is “on top”
but that is not all. The two are also doing everything they can to achieve success in table tennis in their private lives. “At the top, it’s all about sports. At home we focus on strength and endurance training,” says the father. He also sees his daughter’s greatest strengths in this area: “In terms of athletics, Zoe-Loren takes the lead in Germany in such her age. When she hits the ball, it comes twice as loud as the others.” She also makes very smart decisions in the game.
“I’m looking forward to the German championship”
Sommer would not have thought that such a successful development was possible despite the tremendous effort: “If someone had told me that my eleven-year-old daughter was the Bavarian Women’s Champion, I would have said: Never, I can’t! I am amazed anew every day, but Always in a positive way. That’s the beauty!
Despite the huge amount of time it takes, Zoe-Lauren enjoys her sport above all else: “Successes are more fun and also motivate me to keep going. I also spend a lot of time in tournaments and competitions with friends that I meet only through table tennis.” And her fondest memories She is the German Cup this year, when she played with Bayern Munich, for which she has been nominated since the January winner. Here, the 11-year-old remained undefeated throughout the tournament. Another great experience was watching the national team. She also enthusiastically talks about a meeting with German table tennis players Timo Paul and Dmitriy Ovcharov: “The two were very friendly and took a lot of time. Dimitrij even filmed a video with us for his social media. “The next few weeks will be exciting for the Allgäu child prodigy. :” I’m currently looking forward to the German championship. My goal is to get to the main role as first or second in the group.” And shortly thereafter, the following highlight: For the first time ever, Zoe-Loren is playing for the world ranking points in Hungary.
A glimpse of the achievements:
- 2019 Tenth place in the Bavarian classification for youth under 11 years old, ninth place in the international championship in Dusseldorf
- 2020 4th place in the Bavarian U11 Youth Rankings
- 2021 Second place in the international championship in Linz, winning the German Youth Championship in Dusseldorf
- 2022 Winning the German Cup with Bayern Munich, the champions of Bavaria in the age group and with the national under-13 team, in the women’s category and in the mixed adult category.