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Chaos at the World Table Tennis Championships - and an early end for Falk

Chaos at the World Table Tennis Championships – and an early end for Falk

Photo: DPA | Bear Hallstrom

Photo: DPA | Bear Hallstrom

The world’s elite are meeting in the US for the first time, but organizationally little is going well in Houston. There is also significant frustration with Matthias Falk, Werder’s vice world champion.

The day started at the George R. Brown in Houston, Texas, does really well for Matthias Falk. With his best friend Christian Karlsson, who was also his best man at his wedding, Falk gave his first strong performance in the doubles. The two Swedes beat the Brazilian duo Gustavo Tsuboi and Thiago Monteiro 3-0, which was useful for self-confidence.

But seven hours later, the world of table tennis looked so different to Falk, he was choppy right after the second round. As the vice world champion, the 30-year-old had a lot planned and hoped his “lifetime championship” would be repeated in Houston. But instead of making it to the finals again, Falk’s Singles World Cup ended before it actually started.

“If the other one has a great day, it’s over”

Swedish table tennis players Matthias Falk and Christian Karlsson in the World Cup doubles match.
Strong start in doubles: Together with Christian Karlsson (left) Matthias Falk won 3-0.

Photo: Imago | Bildeberan

Falk knew what to expect. There are no easy opponents in the World Table Tennis Championships. The fact that behind the dominance of the Chinese, the competitive intensity among men is now so tight that “from the fifth to the fiftieth, only small things make the difference”, as the tenth place in the world rankings said in advance in an interview with Sportblitz: “If you play well, but The other player had a great day, it’s over.”

The 1.88-meter-tall Swede, who has played for Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga since 2019, played more than a good match against Alexander Kassen in his first match after a farewell on Wednesday night, but was not good enough in the key moments. It was a thrilling exchange of blows in seven contested groups, which the Valk against the French in 3:4 (11:7, 11:6, 5:11, 15:17, 10:12, 11:8 and 7:11) could hardly be to lose any closer.

Hope for WTT Finals

Matthias Falk is a table tennis professional in the World Cup match against Alexandre Cassin with a forehand.
Matthias Falk’s powerful forehands rarely worked in the second round.

Photo: Imago | Bildeberan

It shouldn’t be this year for Falk, who has struggled with knee problems for a long time and hasn’t been at his best at big summer events like the Olympics in Tokyo. Now Falk is still hoping to compete in doubles in Houston and next week’s WTT Finals in Singapore to fight for medals. Despite all the frustration about the early exit, Falk has now at least survived a duel in the next round against friend Carlson.

Things did not go smoothly for the vice world champions, but the organization of the World Cup was much worse. For the first time in its 95-year history, it will be held on the American continent and problems arose from the very beginning. Due to the tight schedule of only 40 minutes per match, active players at many tables had to wait a very long time for their bets. Electronic counting devices failed or could not be operated properly by the referees.

Banned display, direct cursor ban

Onlookers were also affected by organizational errors. The results screens in the boxes were not visible to the public and in other places they could no longer be seen from the second row or using only binoculars. In addition, the oversized scoreboards sometimes prevented visitors from seeing what was happening in the game. In addition, the ban on live broadcasts and live tape has caused huge complaints from national federations in many countries. Among the ranks of DTTB, not many things in Houston are ready for the World Cup

We got our players scheduled matches very late. It’s annoying that teething problems started at the start of the World Cup. It wasn’t ideal.

DTTB Sports Director Richard Prause

Table tennis vice world champion Matthias Falk shows his silver medal in the camera.

Photo: Radio Bremen

Photo: Radio Bremen

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This topic is in the program:
Bremen Ainz, Rundschau, November 25, 2021, 12 noon