by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Furthermore, he underlined the fact that he can adapt to the theatre of the big occasion, he recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat the powerful Khalid Assar (10-12, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7).
“I was nervous at the beginning of the match, my backhand was not good, I concentrated on playing my forehand. I felt under pressure. After losing the second game I tried to relax more and focus on playing just one point at a time. After winning the third game I became more confident.” Truls Moregard
Success for Truls Moregard was followed by success for Anton Källberg who beat Mohamed El-Beiali (11-9, 11-4, 11-5) and Kristian Karlsson who accounted for Ahmed Ali Saleh (11-4, 11-3, 11-6).
The win means that Sweden finished the group in second place and thus advanced to the main draw, an outcome that more than pleased Ulf “Tickan” Carlsson, the national coach.
“Today, the first time for Truls Moregard at a World Championships, it’s a special occasion; it’s a situation that is not easy to handle. At the beginning against Khalid Assar he was nervous but he handled the situation and showed that mentally he is strong. We started the tournament as the third highest rated team in the group, we finished second. We lost just one match, we lost to Germany, we didn’t make a good start against them; if you are going to beat a team like Germany you need a good start to put them under pressure. Overall I’m pleased, I think everyone played to a good level but it’s now the tournament starts; we must raise our level even higher.” Ulf “Tickan “ Carlsson
Second place for Sweden, it was first place for Germany; in their concluding contest they beat Slovenia but not in the comfortable manner that was anticipated in certain quarters; a three-two victory was the winning margin.
No Timo Boll in the selection; nevertheless that did not appear to be a factor that would prevent a comfortable win. Ruwen Filus beat Deni Kozul (11-8, 11-5, 11-4), before Bastian Steger accounted for Jan Zibrat (11-9, 11-9, 11-3) to give Germany a two-nil lead.
Honing in on victory there was a shock in store; Dimitrij Ovtcharov was beaten by Darko Jorgic (11-13, 17-15, 11-9, 11-9) to be followed by Bastian Steger who lost to Deni Kozul (11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6). Matters level, Ruwen Filus returned the fray to prevent German blushes; he beat Jan Zibrat in three straight games (11-8, 11-9, 11-7).
The top two places decided, in a thrilling finish to the day it was third place for Hong Kong; they recovered from two games to nil deficit to beat Romania.
Wong Chun Ting lost to Hunor Szocs (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8) before Ho Kwan Kit experienced defeat at the hands of Ovidiu Ionescu (9-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9).
It was at that stage the Hong Kong revival began. Lam Siu Hang accounted for Cristian Pletea (7-11, 12-10, 16-14, 12-10), before Wong Chun Ting defeated Ovidiu Ionescu (10-12, 11-8, 14-12, 9-11, 11-5) and Ho Kwan Kit overcame Hunor Szocs to complete the recovery (6-11, 11-9, 12-14, 11-8, 11-9).
Final Positions: 1. Germany 10pts 2. Sweden 9pts 3. Hong Kong 8pts 4. Romania 7pts 5. Slovenia 6pts 6. Egypt 5pts