by Simon Daish
Both sides suffered defeats at the quarter-finals stage of the competition, but there was still the small matter of deciding the final position order and respective victories over Ukraine and Greece set up a fifth place play-off between Sweden and Croatia.
Jon Persson gave Sweden the early advantage against Croatia as Frane Kojic lost out to the Swede in straight games (11-5, 11-7, 11-5), but a strong display from Filip Cipin against Par Gerell in the second fixture (8-11, 13-15, 11-7, 2-11) drew the scores level at 1-1.
However, that was the only positive result for the Croatian team as Anton Kallberg and Par Gerell secured back-to-back successes for Sweden with Tomislav Kolarek (11-4, 11-7, 11-5) and Frane Kojic (8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4) ending up on the wrong side of the results.
The result sees Sweden achieve a fifth position finish overall while Croatia settles for sixth.
Ukraine and Greece were the two nations involved in the fight for seventh place in the Men’s Championship Division.
Ioannis Sgouropolous is one of the most exciting young talents in Greek table tennis and looked in superb form at the start of tie against Ukraine, seeing off Viktor Yefimov across four games (6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 7-11) to put Greece ahead in the early stages of the match.
Yet, it was not to be for the Greek team as Yevhen Pryshchepa put in a heroic performance for Ukraine, securing a brace of wins against Anastasios Riniotis (11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6) and Ioannis Sgouropolous (11-6, 9-11, 12-10, 12-10) alongside Kou Lei’s victory over Konstantinos Papageorgiou (11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4) to hand Ukraine the win.