There was no doubt: Sweden’s men’s team was after the European Championship gold in Malmö Arena and the two 3-1 victories against France in the semi-final and against Germany in the final underlined the capacity that exists.
– We were almost out against Hungary in the quarter, but when we went ahead with a barely possible margin, we got the kick we needed, team captain Jörgen Persson summed up the new gold after 21 years of waiting.
Afterwards, he went around signing autographs for many spectators. Of course, they never forget a world champion and Sweden’s greatest athlete.
And there you have a factor that lifted the entire arrangement: the image of the final table and the amount of yellow-clad supporters. And can you imagine, they could follow the match numbers from start to finish. This was a big step up in the history of table tennis, which has not always been so uplifting.
– I really have to thank the audience who were like an extra player for us, Jörgen said.
If he doesn’t know, no one knows.
Jörgen Persson managed to compete as a player a total of seven Olympics, in addition to all WC and EC.
“The best day…”
Sweden’s number one, Truls Möregårdh, was at least as happy as Jörgen after the table tennis party in Malmö and the 3-2 victory against the German legend Timo Boll with a slightly incredible eight EC gold medals in singles.
– Best day of my life. Nothing compares to this. Even if we have worked for the EC gold, it felt a little surreal when I hit the last ball.
It gave 11-5 against the 42-year-old Boll, who could be the father of Truls. But the father’s name is Carl Möregårdh.
– When he was young, he had a gesture that I use today. Maybe you saw it when the EC gold was finished and I got down on my knees. I played a fantastic game of ping-pong, nice that I got to break the Germans who were looking for an offensive.
– Boll won many small balls, but I won the most important ones.
“Invaluable audience support…”
Kristian Karlsson, who defeated Kay Stumper to take a 2–1 lead before Truls stepped in and decided in his second match, agreed that the championship can be rated highly:
– The support from the audience was invaluable. The best sports experience I’ve been a part of.
Anton Källberg, somewhat superb in the German Bundesliga in recent seasons, only played two games for Sweden. But the luck was just as great to be able to support the team from the bench:
– I didn’t take the chance in the quarter (1-3 against the Hungarian Tamas Lakatos) but the feeling now is incredibly good.
We end with fifth place Jon Persson’s funny comment when the EC gold was secured:
– There was no match for me, so it was a strange team selection. But everything is wonderful now!