After a World Cup silver medal in 2019 and European Championship bronze not so long ago, expectations were high for Mattias Falck in the Olympic Games. Even of himself. “I’m here to fight for the medals,” he said before the tournament began.
But the Olympic Games came quickly for the son of Karlskrona. In eighth place in the world, he came first in the third round of the tournament. It was a travel pass directly to former training buddy Buddy Omar Assar from Egypt.
– I know much better than this. I can admit that I made situations, but unfortunately I missed too much, says Mattias Falck.
Many had already looking forward to a quarter-final between Mattias Falck and Chinese legend Ma Long.
– It is completely natural that expectations were high. Mattias recently won the European Championship and is eighth in the world, so those expectations are true and he has them himself. There is nothing strange about that, says national team captain Jörgen Persson.
He is now responsible for a selection where all players have been knocked out of the singles tournament. Earlier in the day, Anton Källberg lost his match in the third round against Lin Yun Ju, Taiwan. The Swedish ladies, Linda Bergström and Stina Källberg, will also be eliminated.
– It’s a big miscalculation, not what I was hoping for, both men are leaving today, says Jörgen Persson.
It was the Egyptian who started best and took the first set home. But Mattias Falck came into the game and took the lead with 3-2 in sets.
– Then I thought he would fix it. But then the Egyptian struck. He plays irregularly, says Jörgen Persson.
He states that Falck had to wait a long time before playing his first match against the Egyptian who has a past in the table tennis club of Halmstad. Omar Assar cheered loudly after every ball he won as if he had won the Olympic gold. But it is commonplace today, according to Jörgen Persson.
– There’s so much at stake in the big championships, so it’s just. When you come to an Olympics, you have to be on the cutting edge. All players are there from the beginning. But so is Mattias. Anton is a bit calmer person, you have to find your own style.
Now the team competition continues where only the Swedish men are involved. The first opponent is the United States. Here is revenge to seize. Sweden lost to the US in the same hall as the 2019 Olympic Games in the World Cup.
– I’ll take some day and recharge the batteries, then it’s just on again, says Mattias Falck.
He will hang out with the others in the team, maybe watch series.
It is allowed to be depressed one day, says Jörgen Persson.
– You have to take a day off and digest the loss. Then it is important to take new steps and feel the desire for revenge. All players know they can do better.
There are things to improve, according to the league captain.
– We make a little too simple mistakes. It costs if you are at this level. They also do a lot of good things. But we need to be a little closer, not give away simple points.
If Sweden defeats the US, host country Japan awaits, having just won Olympic gold in mixed doubles.
– It can be a fantastically calm match. But we start with the US, says Jörgen Persson.