Today it’s 84 days to go until the WTTC2018. The second time the World TT Championships was organised in Sweden was 4-10 February 1949. Playground was the charming Eriksdalshallen in Stockholm.
The indoor arena, Eriksdalshallen, built in the late 1930s, has been hosting the World TT Championships in 1949 and 1957. The Swedish Open Championships (SOC) have been played in the Eriksdalshallen 14 times. The ITTF Pro Tour Finals were settled in the same arena 2002. The Nordic Championships have also been played in Eriksdalshallen once, as well as the Swedish National Championships, which had hosted Eriksdalshallen not less than 10 times.
Sweden was awarded to host the Worlds a second time due to some very strong leaders, among others the chairman of the Swedish Table Tennis Association, Gunnar Ollén.
When deciding where to arrange the World TT Championships in 1949, Gunnar Ollén was appointed vice president of the International Table Tennis Association, just as Carl Wilhelm Linde did when Sweden was awarded the World TT Championships in 1928. The importance of having members in the executive board can not be emphasized enough in these contexts.
How did the World TT Championships in 1949 ended?
There were great hopes for a first ever gold medal to the Swedish national team. Tage Flisberg and Richard Bergmann, reigning Champion in singles from 1948 were top seeded in Men’s Doubles. They didn’t make it all the way though. They lost to Ladislav Stipek/Bohumil Vana, Czechoslovakia, in the semifinal and Sweden had to wait a few more years for their first gold medal.
Johnny Leach, England, was responsible for the biggest sensation when he defeated Victor Barna for the first time after 21-16 in the fifth and deciding game. Gizi Farkas defended the title in Women’s Singles, but the headlines announced another disappointing event when she was discovered for shoplifting just the days before the World TT Championships.
Karl-Albert Rabén, writer for the magazine Swedish Table Tennis, summarized the Swedish achievement: “In order to reach the top, a new Swedish tt-generation is required. Our current national team players did what they could against renowned opponents, but more enthusiasm, self-confidence and gambling strength are required for the big victories. ”
At the World TT Championships in 1949, The Swedish Prince Bertil undertook the honorable mission to become the protector of these Championships. The question is now whether one of our royal majors, Prince Daniel or Prince Carl Philip, or why not Crown Princess Victoria could undertake this honorable assignment in Halmstad 2018. Full picture of Prince Bertil here.