After Friday’s drama against Hungary in the quarter-finals, Sweden also qualified for the semi-finals against France in front of significantly more spectators. The entire short side in Malmö Arena near the game table was packed and the jubilation knew no bounds when Sweden, after Truls Möregårdh’s tentative opening loss against 17-year-old Felix Lebrun, Truls’ first in the European Championship, overcame the French and won 3-1.
– There were any number of people and you could hear many people’s comments up close, said Truls afterwards.
Kristian Karlsson, who defeated Jules Rolland 12-10, 11-9, 11-9, Sweden’s only 3-0 win, was the first to think a day forward.
– The setting in this hall is wonderful and we are now chasing Sweden’s first team gold in 21 years. We are extremely busy.
So set the clock to 17.30 on the last day of the EC. Then the final goes against Germany, which is missing the well-known trio Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Patrick Franziska and Qui Ding. All declined the trip to Malmö to train hard in their home country.
Didn’t reach Felix…
Mattias Falck undressed Lebrun’s older brother, 20-year-old Alexis, after trailing 1-2 in the second match. Then Kristian fixed the victory against Rolland before Truls faced Alexis.
– Felix is a complete player that I didn’t get access to. Although we have full control of both France and Germany, the two Lebrun brothers are difficult to access. They are hot and aggressive all the time. Felix is a great player and not many national teams take two games against Alexis.
Although for a long time Truls looked like losing to the two brothers. But after falling 0–2 down – 6–11 in the first set and 4–11 in the second – he managed to turn the match around and rally 11–9, 11–9, 11–6 to make it 3–2 and 3 of his own -1 for Sweden.
– It was a relief to finally get the returns, serves and backhands.
Loss that time
Mattias was happy about his match against Alexis Lebrun and remembers meeting him a year and a half ago.
– Then I got beaten. Both Alexis and Felix tend to go full throttle from the start.
We hope that the atmosphere in Malmö Arena will be raised even more on the final European Championship day, which begins with the women’s final at 2 p.m. before the men show up in the paddock at 5:30 p.m.
When Sweden won the last team gold, J-O Waldner, Fredrik Håkansson, Peter Karlsson, Jens Lundquist and Magnus Molin were part of the squad. Germany was defeated in the final. Is it happening again?
Foto: Magnus Backe