EUROPE

Matilda Ekholm Qualified To Rio 2016

Matilda Ekholm qualified to Rio 2016
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Matilda Ekholm was the last player to book a place for Rio 2016 at the European Olympic Qualification Tournament. The Swedish player also got a ticket to London 2012 but the Swedish Olympic Committee refused to send her, because she didn't have real options to win a medal. Now she and Li Fen gave the chance to Sweden to compete in the team event. 

Matilda Ekholm of Sweden got the longed-for ticket to Rio 2016. Her qualification was in suspense after she missed her first chance against Netherland's Li Jie by 5-11, 11-5, 13-11, 5-11, 8-11, 11-4 and 13-15. 

In the second final her teammate Li Fen overcame Ukraine's Tetyana Bilenko by 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 and 11-6, so Ekholm had to face Bilenko for the last place to Olympics. Eventually, the Swedish player won against the defensive player by 4-0. 

Now Sweden has two qualifiers, which means that they can compete in the team event in Rio 2016, but everything will depend on Swedish Olympic Committee's decision. Four years ago Ekholm qualified to London 2012, but her Olympic Committee refused to send her, because she didn't chances to win a medal. Even Adham Sharara, those days ITTF's President, and Vladimir Samsonov tried to revet Swedish Olympic Committee's decision, but their efforts were enough We hope that Ekholm can compete in Rio this time. 

Photo courtesy of ITTF

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The 1st WTTC was held in 1926, but China made their first appearance in 1953

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