by Ian Marshall, Editor
He is the no.7 seed in the Men’s Singles event and certainly a contender for a place on the podium but it is to the Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles event that our eyes are attracted.
Alongside erstwhile compatriot, Kristian Karlsson, he is the no.2 seed in the Men’s Doubles event; in the Mixed Doubles he partners compatriot, Matilda Ekholm. They are the top seeds.
Two years ago in Budapest runners up spot in the Mixed Doubles event was to be the Swedish lot; they were beaten by the husband and wife team of Portugal’s João Monteiro and Daniela Monteiro Dodean. Silver medals; for the Swedes in the Men’s Doubles competition it was bronze; somewhat similarly, four years earlier in 2012 in Herning, the colour of the medal had been silver.
One problem with the non-participation of this year of João Monteiro and Daniela Monteiro Dodean, owing to the former sustaining an injury, has been eradicated.
However, in the Men’s Doubles event, the problems remain. In the 2012 final, they lost to Austria’s Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn, in Alicante they are they are the no.4 seeds, behind Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther. One of the most consistent partnerships, the Austrians were the runners up in both 2013 in Schwechat and in 2015 in Ekaterinburg; they present a major challenge to Swedish hopes.
A major challenge but that of Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth is even bigger. They are the defending champions and the top seeds. Two years ago in Budapest they beat Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson at the semi-final stage; even more pertinent just over three weeks ago, when the pairs met in the final at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Czech Open, the verdict was the same.
Testing times ahead for Mattias Falck but will the outcome be gold? It was the colour that that so eluded Mattias Karlsson.