by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The result was both a personal a team triumph; last September at the 2017 European Team Championships in Luxembourg, Sweden had experienced a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Slovenia. Crucially, Mattias Karlsson had lost to Bojan Tokic.
Furthermore, in Halmstad, the win means a place in the main draw now beckons.
A three-one margin of victory for Sweden, it was the same for Germany, the top seeds, who fielded Timo Boll, Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Patrick Franziska against the Hong Kong combination of Ho Kwan Kit, Wong Chun Ting and Lam Siu Hang.
Man of the match for Germany was Timo Boll, he accounted for both Ho Kwan Kit (11-5, 11-5, 11-1) and Wong Chun Ting (11-4, 11-8, 11-6). The one win for Hong Kong was recorded in the second match of the engagement when Wong Chun Ting beat Patrick Franziska by the very narrowest of five game margins (4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 13-11).
Similar to Sweden, the win means Germany is bound for the main draw.
Meanwhile in the one remaining fixture in the group, Romania with Cristian Pletea, Ovidiu Ionescu and Adrian Crisan on duty accounted for the Egyptian combination of Ahmed Ali Saleh, El-Sayed Lashin and Khalid Assar by three matches to nil.
The effect of the win is that Romania and Hong Kong share third place; moreover in the concluding contest in the group, they face each other. In the remaining duels, Germany plays Slovenia, Sweden confronts Egypt.
Standings (after four series): Germany 8pts, Sweden 7pts, Hong Kong 6pts, Romania 6pts, Slovenia 5pts, Egypt 4pts (one point is awarded for presence, one for a win).