Big things are coming for the team of SwedenPhoto: ITTF
Due the security reasons, ITTF - European Olympic Singles Qualifications, previously being allocated to Istanbul, moved to Halmstad. In a very short notice Swedish Table Tennis Association faced and successfully mastered the challenge. The competition starts tomorrow in great Halmstad Arena and most of the teams were already here at the morning trainings.
The team of Sweden had few more duties than the others. Media conference, radio interviews….
What was your reaction, when you heard the tournament will be played at your home soil?
“The reaction was very positive. It is good thing for the Swedish table tennis. It is good for us to play at home soil in front of our supporters. Not to mention it is very good not to travel if there is a possibility,” explained Mattias KARLSSON.
Kristian KARLSSON agreed:
“It is exactly my point. We do not feel the pressure, because we had played so many important tournaments here. On the other side, opportunity to play in front of home crowd is as always something we are looking forward. It is first time that we are playing at the Olympic Qualifications but that do not change the thing.”
The playing schedule is very tight, and there is no time for long preparations.
“We do not feel any lack of games. The tournaments, the Leagues, the Table Tennis Championships Men, there are plenty of matches we had in recent time. However, we managed to have one week for training and to England. We worked together with the England and Denmar teams,” explained Kristian.
Two places on offer, three players of the Swedish team are on duty in Halmstad. Kristian Karlsson, Mattias KARLSSON and Par GERELL will have hard task.
“We are seeded on positions 9, 10 and 13, so we are all very close. Who ever succeed it will not be the surprise. We all want to gain our ticket for Rio, but there are a lot of very good players here and we are all with the same goal,” said Mattias.
The team of Sweden recorded very impressive results in past few months.
“It is all the part of the very positive atmosphere and good competitive spirit among the players in our team. We are all very close and we are pushing each other to be better. Par example, if Mattias beat me it just pushes me forward to work harder. You can feel good energy flowing. And that is not all. We have few more youngsters with very good results. Very big things are coming for Sweden for sure,” said Kristian KARLSSON.
For sure the future looks bright for Sweden, the country with immense traditions in the sport of table tennis .