Thursday 18 August 2011

Sweden's Rocky Balboa of Table Tennis

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Hampus Söderlund, a young Swedish player making his way to the top. Currently ranked 27th in the World in the Under 18 rankings and 10th among Swedish mens players in the ITTF Mens Rankings, Hampus is making big moves! Hampus was really enthusiastic about the interview and has answered the questions really well it makes for great reading, hope you all enjoy :) and of course Thanks to Hampus for doing the interview and getting it back so quickly

Full Name: Hampus Söderlund
Age: 17
Date Of Birth: 14 January 1994
Nation represented: Sweden
Highest World Ranking: 271

Hampus Soderlund
Image from ITTF
Equipment Used?

Blade: Timo Boll T5000

FH Rubber: Tenergy 05 FX

BH Rubber: Tenergy 05

Your Career

How long have you been playing table tennis for, when and how did you start?

I've been playing for 10 years. My parents played so it was a normal step for me, to start to play.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career so far?
Oh, that’s a hard question. My coach for the moment is the former player Peter Karlson and of course so has he has some influence in me. Also some other coaches like Thomas Von Scheele in the national team. But my parents are the most influence over career so far!

What has been the highlight of your table tennis career so far?
Difficult to say. It was very fun when a did win the Swedish championship for U-21 earlier this year. This is the most fresh victory for me, that’s why I took this event. I still have the feeling inside.

What's your training schedule for a week period?
Normally I practise 2 times Monday to Fridays and some exercises for my body every day. Then we have 1 week training camp with the Swedish national team every month. And I am going to other countries to practise sometimes.

What is your next big goal for table tennis?
World junior champs in Bahrain. I want to practise well and develop my game for that tournament. And I want to make a very good performance there. I also want to play well for my club in the Swedish league. We will start now in September.

Hampus' 2010 match against Alexander Franzen of Sweden

Who has been your biggest rival out on the table since you started playing?
I would say Mattias Översjö, who also is a good friend of mine. We are from the same city and we did practise in the same group for 8 years. But we did separate, one year ago. He did move to the Swedish champs Elsöv and I moved to Falkenberg.

Who is your favourite international player and why?
Zhang Jike for the moment. He is playing in a way as I want to play. He has a very strong backhand,forehand and a very good body. I also like his way to receive with his BH flick. “Tabletennis is something difficult, but he is doing it so easily”

You participated in a teams event in Malta with one of our players Phillip Xiao give us your spin on what he's like as a team mate.
Haha I have very good memories from that tournament. Philip is a very nice person to play with. Very relaxed and humble. Philip is a great team player! I did take 3 golds and one silver in Malta. And he made that possible for me!

Image by Par Gerdin

Off the Topic Questions
Who’s your favourite sportsperson of all time?
I suppose I should say Jan-ove-Waldner. But I really like Muhammed Ali!

Favourite food?
Asian food extra point to Thai food.

What do you do when you aren't playing table tennis?
I am having my own blog I also like to move on me to go the gym, and to play thai boxing, Then of course I like to be with my friends and my family.

Dream Car?
I like this car. It’s a very cool sport car, but it is still not to much.

Ideal holiday destination?
The Maldives. I would really like to go there.

First thing you would do if you won $1million?

Buy that Porcshe!

Your Team Mates
Lukas Ryden, Omar Assar and Pär Gerell (only in swedish tournaments)

Who’s the funniest player in the training hall?
We have some India players in our practise group. I would say Ghosh he has very funny comments sometimes.

Who trains the hardest in the training hall?

It depends on the day. But Omar is always working very hard and consistent.

Who’s the funniest team player?

Lukas he is the relaxed one, outside the table.

Who has the best nickname?
I think I have the best nickname. They call me for “Rocky” like in Rocky Balboa. I cant say that I don’t like it !

And Lastly

Would you like to add one last tip, or an inspirational message for other table tennis players looking to succeed?
To have fun work hard and to listen to other persons ideas. But in the end always trust your own stomach feeling!!

Awesome! Thanks Hampus :)

You can check out Hampus' blog at

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