“I was standing up there and there were so many people in the gall. You really think about it. Am I really second? That is a damned cool feeling,” the 24-year-old said afterwards, Die Welt reported.
“I will have to check first thing in the morning whether the medal is really there,” he said.
Another German competitor having difficulty believing his own success was Dimitrij Ovtcharov, who won bronze in table tennis, doing the job that favourite Timo Boll had failed to manage.
“I really can't believe it,” he said after beating Chuang Chic-Yuan from Taiwan, the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper reported.
Judoka Dimitri Peters secured another bronze for Germany, beating Ramziddin Sayidov from Uzbekistan on Thursday afternoon.
German swimmer Markus Deibler reached the final of the 200 metre individual medley despite having come ninth on Wednesday. The refusal of South African Chad le Close to swim in the final, announced on Thursday, meant that Deibler is through and has a chance at a medal.
Tennis player Angelique Kerber did not have such luck, losing on Thursday in the quarter final against world number one ranked Belarus player Victoria Asarenka. The last German hope for a tennis medal lies with the mixed double pair Sabine Lisicki and Christopher Kas who were due to play later on Thursday.