Monday 22 August 2011

Karlsson Holds Hope for Another Swedish Number 1

It was a great honour for me to secure this interview with one of Sweden's most successful players and renowned coach, Peter Karlsson. I hope you can all take something away from this interview. Thanks Peter!

Full Name: Peter Karlsson
Date Of Birth: 29/05/69
Nation Represented: Sweden
Highest Ranking: 4 ( 1994)

Equipment Used/using?
Blade: STAG Peter Karlsson Carbon
BH Rubber: STAG Peter Karlsson Gen2

Karlsson in Action 

Your Career

How long have you been playing table tennis for, when and how did you start?Started at 7 with my brother at home on the kitchen table.

What was the highlight of your table tennis career as a player?
2000: Singles Champion at European Championships

1991: World Champion Doubles

4times World Champion in Teams (-89, -91, -93, -00 )

What is Sweden's philosophy on table tennis, I know you sincerely believe you can produce another world number 1, what does Sweden need to do to achieve this?
We have traditions, knowledge, history and a good system ( which needs to be improved). We dont have BIG number of players. As we only have a small number of players we need extreme personalities with:

1/ Driving force
2/ Ready to work hard
3/ Passion for the sport that makes them do something “extra”.
4/ Players who are ready to invest time and money to improve.

What has changed in Sweden since the era's of Waldner and Appelgren?
Life has changed..... kids today have so many things to choose from. Not only sport, also computer, all different types of games. The number of players in Sweden has gone down a lot in the last 20-25 years. The competition inside the country is not as hard as it used to be. BUT....I still believe we can come back to the top!!!

What do you think makes the Chinese so dominant at the sport currently?
They have: traditions, good system, good history, knowledge and money.
Combine this with a BIG number of players.

The status of table tennis is high in China. Parents are dreaming of having future champions. All these things makes the competition inside the country very hard, this drives the level of the sport up!!

What kind of training programmes are the top Swedish players undergoing presently (ie Par Gerell, Robert Svensson etc)?
I'm not the right man to answer this question...

What do Europe need to increase the standard of their game to compete with Asia in the next 5-10 years?

We need to improve the footwork and also we need to improve physically. I believe we need to spend more hours in the hall.

Who do you think in terms of team events will be the first country to beat China in the future based on their current trends and development of emerging players?
South Korea

Peter winning Gold in the Mens Singles at the 2000 European Championships
Image Courtesy of the Tribune.

Off the Topic Questions

Who’s your favourite sportsperson of all time?
Björn Borg

Favourite food?
French food...

What do you do when you aren't involved with Table Tennis?
Spending time with my family and friends.

Dream Car
Im not a big fan of cars.... but a Porche would be ok!!

Ideal holiday destination?
Thailand with my family

First thing you would do if you won $1million?
Today Im doing things for the non profitable organisation “Peace and Sport”.
I would definately increase my involvement with them if I won that much money.

Ma Lin vs. Peter Karlsson 2004

Your Team Mates (or coaching students)

Who’s the funniest player in the training hall?
Lin Zhigang , a chinese player who I played with 5 years in Nevers , France.

Who trains the hardest in the training hall?
I have seen so many players who have trained hard. Not fair to mention only one.....

Who has the best nickname?
Appelgren ( Äpplet= The apple)

And Lastly

Would you like to add an inspirational message to readers to help them achieve their goals?
Achieving goals is the end station of a goalsetting, right??

Lets make the journey ( which is very long!!) enjoyable!!!

HAVE FUN AND ENJOY WHAT YOU ARE DOING, this will increase your chances to be successful.

Peter Karlsson

Want to read more great interviews with other former World Champions, Cup Winners and Number 1's? Click for MORE INTERVIEWS.

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