Now the Swedish Table Tennis Association is on course to revamp the tournament model with the introduction of the Sweden Tour – a string of individual competitions which will be open for international participation.
Five tournaments are on the schedule leading up to the Sweden Tour Finals in in Eslöv from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th December, when there will be men’s and women’s singles events as well as the same in the under 20 age group. Overall, 12 players will qualify for each competition; the total prize money allocated for the Tour in 2020 is approx. 40,000 Euros and hopefully more to come.
“We have worked hard to put this together – especially given the special circumstances for sports at the moment. Early on we found a model that we believed in, and I am very happy the clubs now are onboard as organisers. These events – some of them at least have a long tradition and are successful already – but to have them under the same Tour umbrella should give us the opportunity to raise to quality and most importantly position the Sweden Tour as a quality offering for the international calendar in the future.” Thomas Buza, General Secretary of the Swedish Table Tennis Association
Opening weekend in Köping will feature all the Swedish top aces on the men’s side with the exemption of Kristian Karlsson recovering from an elbow injury. Linda Bergrstöm, world no. 80, is leading the charge for the women. She will be challenged by the new generation of female players with Christina Källberg and Filippa Bergand; they hold very strong cards.
“I convinced that it will be good competition and this is what the players need for the moment. We have a strong group on the men’s side with four top 50 players in the world and it will be interesting to see which of the players that can bring that special winning edge to the table. It is important to win tournaments – always been and always will.” Jörgen Persson, Swedish men’s team national coach
This weekend in Köping will start with the men’s and women’s singles plus under 20 events. The next competition, the Halmstad Masters to be held from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th August, the full gambit of events is on offer including the ages under 12, 14 and 17.
“Given the situation we are in for the moment with international competitions on hold due to the pandemic we believe that this is the best way forward – to put our focus towards our domestic tournaments. We need to make sure to teach our young players to compete harder and with more quality. Many of our younger talents will benefit from the Sweden Tour concept and that has been one of the most important goals for us. I am also happy to present the Tour for the Swedish players fighting hard to reach the national team – a journey not very easy – but of course possible. On top of that we are providing a huge lift for our female players offering equal prize money. We are extremely proud of that and there is no doubt that Sweden Tour will drive the development on the women’s side. We have plenty of ambitious and hardworking young girls in the system for the moment.” Mikael Andersson, High Performance Director, Swedish Table Tennis Association
Results from the Swedish Tour
Web – broadcast