Women's field hockey, men's handball, equestrian team jumping, men's table tennis, and later the men's football semifinal: German team players were all over the Olympic fields on Wednesday, often with bronze at stake.
German flag-bearer and table tennis mainstay Timo Boll hit the winning shot to secure Germany a second successive team bronze, at the expense of South Korea. Germany won the five-match bronze medal encounter by 3-1, with Boll clinching what turned out to be the decisive fourth match.
Boll was even playing hurt, winning the admiration of his teammate Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
"You see at times like this that he's a real tough cookie, even if he doesn't always look like one," Ovtcharov said. "I saw the injections; it really didn't look good when he was being treated."
Boll, competing in his fourth and perhaps final Olympic games, never having quite managed gold in a sport dominated by China, was glad not to leave Rio empty-handed.
"At perhaps your last Games, you don't want to leave the arena in fourth, with such a disappointment," Boll said. "Big thanks to my lads. They helped to pull me through."
China and Japan play for the gold later on Wednesday, after China's women rolled Germany over - losing just one set in three matches - in the women's team final on Tuesday.
Another bronze in the equestrian jumping
Outdoors, Germany's equestrian outfit sealed a sixth medal of the games - bronze in the team jumping, behind the United States and the gold-winning French team.
Ludger Beerbaum's final run, with no penalty points, rescued the bronze after what the 52-year-old four-time Olympic champion described as a "rollercoaster" of an event. "I hadn't been expecting to have to ride in there as the last competitor and show that I still belong here."
However, Beerbaum also hinted that his illustrious career might be coming to a close: "There's not that much more still to come, if anything," he said after the bronze. He stressed, though, that he wasn't calling a definitive halt just yet. Beerbaum's four golds spanned from the 1988 Games in Seoul through 2000 in Sydney.
Chance at bronze after bitter defeat
Elsewhere, the German women's hockey team nearly beat the all-powerful Netherlands team in Wednesday's semifinal, only to lose 4-3 in a nail-biting penalty shootout in which seven shooters from each side had to step forward.
The Netherlands will go for their third successive field hockey gold against either New Zealand or Great Britain, with Germany facing the loser of that semifinal in the third-place playoff.
The men's hanballers booked their semifinal ticket, at Qatar's expense, winning 34-22. Seeking more than just bronze, seemingly Germany's favorite color on Wednesday in Rio, France will stand between them and the gold medal match.
To round out the team sports action, Germany look set for another crucial game against in Brazil against the Selecao while hunting a big prize - this time Olympic gold. DW Sports will file a separate story on that semi, and Brazil's comfortable demolition of Honduras in the other game.
msh/mp (AFP, dpa, SID)