Matilda Ekholm, 29, is the winner of the recent World Olympic Qualification Tournament held in Qatar, so she had the right to participate at the Olympics. However, her participation was subjected to the Swedish Olympic committee's Confirmation.
On Monday Ekholm received bad news that the Committee didn't confirm her participation. According to the Committee, the player won't be sent to London because she has no chance to be in the best eight players. Nevertheless, this is an old excuse for Ekholm because she also had this problem in 2008.
On that ocassion, Ekholm also got a ticket to Beijing at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament but the Swedish Olympic Committee didn't confirm her participation neither because she was ranked 106th in the world ranking and she didn't have good enough result, so she didn't have chances to reach quarterfinals.
However, the player argues that the situation is completely different this time. She is in the 62th place in May's world ranking and was in the 50th place last month. Besides, she said that after she didn't qualify at the European Olympic Qualification Tournament, she asked the Swedish Olympic Committee, if it was worthy to compete in Qatar and she was said to do the best she could. That's why the player was surprised by the Committee's decision.
The Committee's decision is curious because Sweden will send three player for the men event. The team will be made up by Jorgen Persson, Par Gerell and Jens Lundqvist. Persson is ranked 78 but he is supported by reaching semifinals in Athens 2004 and all his titles, of course. On the other hand, Par Gerell is in the 69th place, while Lundqvist, in the 42th spot. Just Lundqvist has a better ranking than Elkholm but he won't compete in the singles event.
Sport Director of the Swedish Olympic Committee explained the decision of sending the men team to the Olympics. He said that the men team got the sixth place at the World Team Championship held in Dortmund, so it has more chance to have a good result in London.
All this controversy was known outside Swedish boundaries as a campaign was made on Facebook "Matilda to Olympics" to try to revert the Committee's decision. The campaign has been supported so far by players such as Mattias Karlsson, Sara Ramirez, Nikoleta Stefanova, Iulia Necula, Maria Xiao, Galia Dvorak, Krisztina Toth and Kelly Sibley.
Do you agree about Swedish Olympic Committee's decision?
Photo and info. source: sverigesradio.se - aftonbladet.se