25 Feb 2022

Named “Female Para Star of the Year” at the inaugural ITTF Star Awards evening held in January 2013 at the Raffles Hotel in Dubai, on Wednesday 23rd February Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlqhuist announced her retirement from international play.

The award recognised her achievement at the London 2012 Paralympic Games when she had secured women’s singles class 3 gold.

In the ExCeL arena she enjoyed her finest hour.

“It was definitely the biggest moment of my career. Every time I think about it, I get happy and emotional, being on the top of the podium is every athlete’s biggest dream.” Anna-Carin Ahlquist

Later in the proceedings, she was to add a second medal to her collection, alongside her erstwhile partner, Ingela Lundback, in women’s team class 4-5; they secured silver, a feat also achieved more recently in Tokyo.

The team successes are somewhat resigned to the shadows when her individual efforts are considered, in Rio she was also a women’s singles bronze medallist. However, the team performances are of considerable merit, a class 3 athlete, she was competing against class 4 and class 5 opponents, adversaries with a lesser disability.

Undoubtedly, those efforts underline her strength of character, her sheer determination to succeed and prove any doubters wrong.

European and World Championships

Likewise partnering Ingela Lundback, twice she won the women’s team class 4-5 title at the European Para Championships (2009, 2015), in addition to donning the women’s singles clas 3 crown on five occasions (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019).

The fifth gold achieved on Swedish soil in Helsingborg was the most poignant; earlier in the year she had undergone a Mastectomy, having been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Additionally, at the European Para Championships, she was a women’s singles class 3 bronze medallist (2009), women’s team class 4-5 silver medallist (2011, 2019) and class 5 team bronze medallist (2007).

A string of successes; it is the same at the World Para Championships. Twice a women’s singles class 3 bronze medallist (2014, 2018), twice a women’s team class 5 silver medal winner (2010, 2019); as at the European Para Championships, always in partnership with Ingela Lundback.

Meanwhile, at open international para tournaments commencing in 2007, she won 68 gold, 21 silver and 14 bronze medals, always relishing the challenge, a fact endorsed at the World Veteran Championships in 2016 in Alicante, able bodied players finding her a most worthy opponent.


Success, the outcome was that she established herself consistently in the upper echelons of the women’s class 3 rankings. She made her first entry at no.31 in July 2007, in October 2010 she claimed top spot, a position she was to hold on no less than 70 publications! Currently she is listed in the no.2 spot.

Moreover, she has been very active in promoting para sport, plying her skills against a certain Jan-Ove Waldner.

Anna-Carin resides in Haga, Central Gothenburg; she has a brother, sister-in-law, two nieces and six godchildren.

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