Sweden Secures Podium Finish With Victory Over England

(Photo: ITTF)

The home crowd at the Halmstad Arena rejoiced on May 4th as Team Sweden successfully booked their place in the last four of the Men’s Championship Division at the 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships for the first time since 2004.

Following a terrific display against Chinese Taipei in the opening round of the main draw Sweden put in another performance to be proud off, defeating 2016 bronze medallists England at the quarter-finals stage of the 2018 event.

Kristian Karlsson handed the home favourites an early lead with a fine effort against Paul Drinkhall (11-9, 11-8, 11-8) before Mattias Karlsson extended Sweden’s advantage with a crucial win over in-form Liam Pitchford (12-14, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9) in the second fixture of the tie.

“I was down 2-8 in the second game and came back; that was crucial. I feel I made good decisions during the match; we are of a similar style, we both like to play forehands. Against Paul, the first attack is vital, today I was aggressive, let him attack first and he is very good.” – Kristian Karlsson

Requiring just one more victory Jon Persson delivered the perfect result for Sweden, storming to a straight games success against Sam Walker (11-8, 11-3, 14-12) to put the host nation through to the penultimate round.

“I was nervous at the beginning of the match, I knew the importance, win and we were in the semis. Sam has a reputation for being good in the big matches but equally I like to play the big matches. Here the crowd the support has been tremendous, great atmosphere.” – Jon Persson

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