Nina Mittelham is one of the world’s highest-ranked European table tennis players. Here’s all there is to know about the German ping-pong player. Nina Mittelham: Table Tennis Player Profile Learn about professional ping pong player Nina Mittelham including her equipment used, world ranking, and career highlights.
In a sport dominated by Asians, Nina Mittelham is among the few Europeans challenging for the top spot. More recently, she took gold in the WTT Contender, Lima, 2022, in a competition that also saw fellow countryman Dang Qiu take gold in the men’s division. These two also combined to take gold in the mixed doubles. Further back, Nina clinched gold in the women’s singles at the 2021 Europe top 16 Cup. But what more is there to the 26-year German, and how many more accolades does she have to her name? Keep reading to find out.
Born on November 23rd, 1996, in Willich, Germany, the Sagittarius is 5 ft 5 inches tall. She’s also part of the German national table tennis team, having even been part of the 2020 Trusted SourceOlympics | Nina Mittelham All the information about Olympic achievements. olympics.com team for her country. Her table tennis story starts with her exploring the sport on her brother’s advice.
She would soon start excelling to the point where she took part in mini-tournaments while she trained at the DJK VfL Willich. She eventually left the DJK VfL for SC Bayer 05 Uerdingen, the first of many steps to her eventual senior table tennis career. She followed this with a move to TuS Uentrop in the 2009/2010 season, which allowed her to play in the women’s regional league.
It wasn’t long before she again changed teams to the DJK Holzbüttgen, a move that allowed her to play in the women’s second division until 2012. Around this time, she started achieving success in the youth category. Examples include being the singles German cadet champion in 2011.
At the same tournament, she also took gold in the doubles alongside Katja Brauner and mixed doubles alongside Kilian Ort. Also, among her biggest successes in the youth division was being the most successful player at the European Youth Championships in 2013.
According to the European Youth Championships, Nina got three gold medals and one silver. This achievement involved beating Bernadette SZOCS, someone who’d dominated the event for four years running.
She would also participate in table tennis tournaments in TuS Bad Driburg in Bad Iburg, where she was noticed by coach Franz-Josef Lingens. This led to her eventual move to the TuS Bad Driburg team in the 2012/13 season after some convincing by the coach.
Nina won the 2nd Women’s Bundesliga, securing her move to the 1st women’s Bundesliga less than a year later.
As for her senior career, it started in 2012 when she started participating in international games. She would break into the top 200 ITTF rankings for the first time in 2013. Nina then participated in the Croatia Open in 2015, where she was a semifinalist in the under-21 category and a World Tour medal holder.
While she did participate in the 2016 World Team Championships, she barely featured in the games, with her team getting knocked out in the quarter-finals by Japan.
Also worth noting is that she’s won several medals at the German national championships back home. The bronze in 2014 is one example, although the three singles titles back-to-back between 2019 and 2021 are more impressive.
Her 2018 move to Bundesliga club TTC Barlin eastside lasted three years and preceded her breakthrough into the ITTF top 50 for the first time. A year later, she would also qualify for the European top 16, a tournament where she got as far as the quarter-finals.
Also, her participation in the Minsk team’s European Games helped the German team clinch gold. The German team also participated in the team European Championship where they only got as far as the quarter-finals.
2020 saw Nina Mittelham get bronze at the ITTF World Tour Platinum – German Open-2020 series and ITTF Challenge – Spanish Open-2020 tournament. In the former, she paired up with Solja Petrissa, while in the latter, she was with Shan Xiaona.
She was also selected for the 2020 Olympics, which took place several months late though she only participated as a sub. The German team came in fourth.
Ultimately, Nina has several achievements to her name so far, and given that she’s only 26, she’s bound to add to them before she retires. Here’s a list of previous accolades in the singles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles, and team competitions.
As for Nina’s medal record, currently it consists of 10 gold medals, seven silver medals, and four bronze in her youth and senior careers combined.
Most of her bronze medals are from the European Youth Championships, where she got her first as part of the cadet girls’ team in 2010. Two others followed this in 2012 in the Junior team and Junior mixed doubles events. She also got bronze at the World Junior Championships in the same year.
Similarly, most of her Silver medals are from the European Youth Championships. Her first came in 2011 in the cadet girls’ team event. In 2013 she got another in the Junior girls’ team event. 2014 saw her get two silver medals: one in the Junior girls’ team event and the other in the Junior girls’ senior event.
Nina’s three other silver medals came in the European Championships in 2017, 2020, and 2022. The 2017 medal was for a team game, the 2020 medal for doubles, and the more recent 2022 medal she earned in a singles game.
As for her gold medals, Nina earned her first at the Kazan European Youth Championship in 2011 for the cadet girls’ singles game. In the same tournament, she earned another gold in the doubles event.
As mentioned earlier, she was the most successful player at the European Youth Championships in 2013, a tournament that saw her take home three gold medals for the Junior girls’ singles, Junior girls’ doubles, and Junior mixed doubles.
Other gold medals are from the European Championships in 2018, 2020, and 2021. The 2018 gold was for the doubles, the 2020 medal for mixed doubles, and the 2021 medal was for the teams’ event. Her last two gold medals came from the 2019 European games held in Minsk and the 2022 Europe top 16 held in Thessaloniki.
Nina is right-handed and uses the shakehand grip. With that, she can adjust the paddle quicker, depending on whether she will attack or defend. It also allows for more power, spin, and control over where the ball is going, which suits her playing style perfectly.
That said, it’s worth noting the paddle and blade also help determine the ball’s speed and spin when you play. As such, if you’re past the beginner stage and want to improve your game, it may be time to look into our list of the best ping pong paddles for intermediates. After all, your beginner paddle may not cut it anymore.
On the other hand, if you’re much more advanced, getting a blade and customizing the rubbers to your playing style may be the best course of action. Fortunately for you, our list of the best table tennis blades can help you decide where to put your money. Once you have your racket assembled, it’s also important to take care of it, in which case the Butterfly Table Tennis Racket Care Kit has been recommended by most reviewers thanks to its ability to rejuvenate rubber surfaces.
Speaking of playing style, Mittelham is comfortable being on the back foot and passive if there’s no opportunity to attack. She uses a backhand to return the ball to the opposing player and sets herself up for a counterattack.
Once she sees an opening, she’ll switch to the forehand for maximum power and look to finish the game quickly. Also, she tends to stick closer to the table if possible but has no problems moving further back if necessary.
All this has allowed her to achieve a 70%-win rate in her career, according to a new organization that manages all the business side of the game for the International Table Tennis Federation.
As mentioned above, Nina Mittelham broke into the ITTF top 200 rankings early in her career in 2013. Since 2018, she’s broken into the top 50 and has been improving ever since. According to the Trusted SourceWorld ranking and news on the sportsman. ranking.ittf.com and news on the sportsman., Nina was ranked 39th globally at the end of 2020.
In 2022, she made it to 12th, her highest ranking to date. However, she has since dropped off, with her current position being 14th globally. She’s also currently the second-highest-ranked German after Ying Han at position 10.
If you see her as an inspiration, you may want to get a game set to enjoy playing ping pong at home. According to most reviews, the GoSports Mid-Size Table Tennis Game Set is an excellent beginner option, given it comes with everything you need, including a table, paddles, balls, and a net. Speaking of nets, if you’re searching for a new net since your old one is worn out, our list of the best table tennis nets can help you find the right fit for your needs.
Nina announced a partnership with MIBE in 2021 and has since been seen using a MIBE blade. MIBE is a German brand based in China. However, she used an Innerforce ALC racket in most games before that.
Nina has profiles on Instagram and Facebook, with her Instagram name being @ninamittelham. Her Facebook profile is Nina Mittelham, and this is where she announced her MIBE sponsorship in 2021.
At only 26, it’s still fairly early in Nina Mittelham’s career, and recently she’s seemed to be on a roll. As such, while she is yet to break into the top ten in the ITTF rankings, there’s a chance that we’ll see more of her as she matures in the game. That said, having reached 12th in the world is still a pretty big achievement.