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European Olympic Singles Qualification - 29 Mar 2012

Jörgen PERSSON wants to join Super League after London


The Chinese journalists could not believe what they hear. “What are you going to do?” Cannily smiling Jorgen PERSSON repeated: “I want to play in the Super League after the Olympics and then I can retire.” The reporter with the microphone became nervous.

The Chinese journalists could not believe what they hear. “What are you going to do?” Cannily smiling Jorgen PERSSON repeated: “I want to play in the Super League after the Olympics and then I can retire.” The reporter with the microphone became nervous. The 46 year-old table tennis legend shortly before ending his career will be once more in the Chinese League? To which club? “I do not know yet. I am still waiting for the offers,” he laughs. Even the German journalists could not similarly believe, that the Single’s World Champ of 1991 and four times Team World Master will stop. “You have mentioned once that you are going to retire. Is that now final?”

PERSSON answers calmly: “Yes, after Shanghai, I treated myself a hiatus, now I will really end up.”

Prior to this he will however strike one more time in London. He was already twice fourth, missing tightly the most sought Olympics medals. “Of course, every one who goes to the Olympics wants a medal. But to be among the best 16, I could manage that. It is simpler at the Olympics. There are only two Chinese in.” Grinning he added: “And only two Germans.”

He also earned a high regard from the Chinese national trainer LIU Guoliang because of his far reached career. “He is now fighting against the sixth generation of our players.” And indeed he could Olympia winner MA Lin on Tuesday take away a set. The Chinese jokes: “Maybe we could have deployed XU Xin. When Persson won against China in 1989 5:0, XU Xin wasn’t born yet.”

PERSSON also laughs after being referred about his age. “My colleagues are sometimes calling me humorously Grandpa. We have a player in our team, Kristian KARLSSON, I am older than his mother and equally of the same age like his father.” He narrated, it is for him a great pleasure to train with the younger players and relay his experiences to them. To keep himself fit, he does running and strength training. “When I wake up every morning, I feel nothing. I am already 46 but still fit and I am very thankful for it.”

Asked what the secret formula of his success is, he ponders: “Talent is only fifty percent, the other half is through hard work. I love table tennis. I still love training. Maybe, that is my secret, ” the old chap from Sweden acknowledged.

(by Ina BAYER, courtesy DTTB)


Photo: Jorgen PERSSON during WTC in Dortmund (Photo Petrovic)

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