Second seeds Sweden were in impressive form as they ended England’s hopes at the European Championships at the quarter-final stage in Nantes today.

England were aiming to avenge defeat to the same opponents at last year’s World Team Championships and would have had realistic ambitions of doing so. However, those ambitions were ruthlessly snuffed out as Sweden repeated their 3-0 victory from Halmstad.

England put their big gun up first in the shape of Liam Pitchford, but rather than respond with world No 9 Mattias Falck, Sweden opted for Jon Persson, currently ranked at No 53.

Pitchford had won their previous two meetings, but it was a different outcome on this occasion as Persson took the first two with something to spare before coming back from 10-6 and 11-10 down to win the third 13-11.

Falck started like a train against Paul Drinkhall, taking the first 11-2, but Drinkhall showed positive signs in winning the second 11-7. But Falck won the next 11-7 and then ran away with the fourth by the same margin as the first.

It was up to Sam Walker to get England back in it against teenager Truls Moregard (WR81), the Europen junior champion, and things looked good as Walker took the first 11-9. However, that was as good as the news got for England as Moregard won the next three to put Sweden into the semi-finals.


Sweden 3 England 0
Jon Persson bt Liam Pitchford 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 13-11)
Mattias Falck bt Paul Drinkhall 3-1 (11-2, 7-11, 11-7, 11-2)
Truls Moregard bt Sam Walker 3-1 (9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9)


Pitchford v Persson
Drinkhall v Falck
Walker v Moregard

Sam Walker waits to receive from Truls Moregard (ITTF picture by Remy Gros)