by Simon Daish
Not since the 2008 edition of the World Junior Championships had a European competitor featured in the Boys’ Singles final with Englishman Paul Drinkhall coming away with a silver medal finish in Madrid, but almost a decade later Truls Moregard brought the continent’s disappointing run to an end with an amazing outing in Riva del Garda.
“My ultimate goal was to play at the highest level or play my own game because I know that I can defeat most players in the world in the youth field. When I reached the final, I was very excited. It was a great feeling to be one of the two best youth players in the world and confirmation that all the hard work in training had paid off.” Truls Moregard.
Beginning his campaign in the qualification stages of the competition, Moregard did well to book a place in the last eight of the Boy’s Singles draw but the 15-year-old star was hungry for more success and went on to far outperform expectations.
Fantastic displays at the quarter-finals and semi-finals stages of the event Moregard accounted for Xu Haidong and Niu Guankai, seeded seventh and third respectively an example, the Swedish representative says, highlights that the top Chinese players can be beaten.
“I try to keep the saying: “Respect everyone – fear no one.” The Chinese players are very good, but they are only human. I know that I have a strong game, and if I can play at my maximum, I have a good chance of winning against anyone.” Truls Moregard.
Top seed Xue Fei proved to be one step too far for Moregard, but despite missing out on the top step of the podium in Riva del Garda the young Swede can press on with plenty of confidence in his game and is hoping to reach even greater heights in the future.
“… I now concentrate on my table tennis to become a professional. My big, long-term goal is to become number one in the world and win the Champions League with my club Eslöv AI.” Truls Moregard.