Visited Falkenberg tonight . A town that for many years was the Mecca of Swedish Table Tennis . Perhaps not so anymore with a slumping production of own talents as one of the reasons for some struggling years for FBTK to get back into the real top tier in Swedish league TT.
But perhaps things are about to change , at least there is a growing optimism around the team, that after two rounds of the Swedish league ,by the way played in a new format this year, still is unbeaten. The main reason for my visit was of course to check in with the Egyptian eighteen year old talent Omar Assar , currently staying in Falkenberg to complete one month of practice under the watchful coaching eyes of Peter Karlsson. Omar was earlier rewarded with a three matches trial contract to start the league season for Falkenberg . He will, following the third round next week , be replaced by a chinese left-hander Guo Kai , who did well in Sweden last year..
But speaking to the faithfuls in the stands tonight , the club could face a real dilemma once the trial period is over. Tonight Omar received a well deserved standing ovations following a dramatic three – two homewin, agianst Mariedals BTK. Omar pulled Falkenberg even in the second singles of the day when he defeated Radek Mrcvicka , a Czech thirty four year old that went 24-8 last year in his first season in the Swedish league. He then followed up with a doubles win together with Lukas Ryden in the fifth match of the evening to secure three points for the home team.
The Swedish league is this year played with completely new , shortened format, to fit a regular Saturday TV broadcast of one selected match per round. Four singles and one doubles, all best of three games are played between the two teams. One point for each win is rewarded , meaning that a three – two match will not only give three points to the winning team but also two points towards the standing for the loosing counterpart.
It is clearly to early to tell if this is a success or not. It seems stressful enough to find a good rhythm in the shortened matches – but interesting enough the younger players seems to like it a lot. Sweden’s coming man, the fifteen year old Hampus Söderlund opened the team match with an impressive win vs Magnus Månsson and scored a valuable point for his team with that win.
Spoke to Peter Karlsson after the match and he said this about Omar Assar ; “Omar is doing very well and as you can see he has improved a lot during this period. Well done to beat Mrcvicka in his opening singles and the quality of shots he pulled off was quite impressive.. If he can remain that agreessive on the international scene i am sure that he will score some good wins very soon. Great thing is also that he brings soo much energy to the practice hall and to the team matchens- the whole team really gets a lift out of his fighting spirit” Peter Karlsson said
|Falkenbergs BTK||Mariedals IK||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3||Match-
|A1||Månsson Magnus||B2||Söderlund Hampus||6-11||3-11||–||0-1|
|A2||Assar Omar||B1||Mrkvicka Radek||11-3||12-10||–||1-1|
|A3||Rydén Lukas||B3||Shimoyama Takanori||12-10||9-11||4-11||1-2|
|A1||Månsson Magnus||B1||Mrkvicka Radek||12-10||15-13||–||2-2|
|Rydén Lukas||Översjö Mattias|
|Now to bed – Golf round with Peter Karlsson and after that evaluation of the Close to Karlsson project is on tommorrows schedule..