World Team Championships in Halstad 2018
Paul and Granville on tour at the World Team Championships 2018 in Halstad, Sweden
The planning started early in September of 2017. It’s always an adventure even finding Halstad on the computer! What is the best way to get there and can a hotel be found near the venue.
Halstad lies on the river Nissan and is about the size of Harrogate but is a university town and it has good shopping and dining facilities.
We set of very early on Saturday 28th April with a flight from Manchester to Brussels! Brussels to get to Sweden!! A short train ride to Halstad then to a bus station which was deserted. After hanging around for half an hour finally getting a taxi to our hotel arriving at 7pm. The Hotel Havgard we found very suitable, as we had food and beer delivered to the room each night!
The venue was one bus journey and a 10 minute walk away. The stadium was fairly modern with the event played in four halls with easy walking between the halls. The only complaint was that in two of the halls seating was just down one side, which made supporting your team difficult if they were on the side away from the seats. First day of play Sunday 29th April we started with the England Women's team playing against Dominican Republic which they won 3-0. The ladies continued with 3-2 wins over Switzerland, Chile 3-2 so a perfect start of 3 wins. Next up they faced Canada: a win would guarantee promotion but failed 3-1. A further loss 3-0 to Serbia meant no promotion. It was a sad end after playing so well early in the group stages.
The men, having achieved a bronze at the last world championship, made a great start on the opening day waltzing through against Belarus on table 5, 3-0 .Wow what a start!
Second day of play Monday 30th April the men played Chinese Taipei on table 11 and ran out winners 3-1. Setting up a clash in the evening with no 3 seeds Japan on table 3 where all the Japanese men were world ranked 9th -14th. We were in for a battle and we gave them one!! Liam Pitchford repeating his destruction of the Japanese wonder boy 14 year old Tomokazu Harmote in London. Granville comments that he won so well he buried him under the table! England were in full flow and ran out 3-1 winners with Paul saying it’s the best I have ever seen England play. They only need to win the last 2 matches to be in the Quarterfinals.
Third day of play Tuesday 1st May the men played Singapore on table 4 and won comfortable 3-0 so just one group match to go now which is Belgium. England proceeded safely through to the quarter-finals of the World Team Championships as group winners after beating Belgium 3-1 today with Pitchford outstanding.
So after a day of rest we came to the fifth day which we saw England play host nation Sweden with a guaranteed bronze medal for the winners. Played in front of a very large partisan crowd England never got going and with the Swedish players playing out of their skins England lost 3-0. It's a pity England cannot get a crowd like that when they play European matches and we firmly believe that we can match any European team. So that was England out of the competition and they ended up joint 5th with Austria, Brazil and Japan.
Sixth day - Semi Finals day - it was Sweden v China and Germany v Republic of Korea. China beat Sweden 3-0 and Germany beat Republic of Korea 3-2 after a tremendous battle going to the final end of the final match.
Seventh and final day was the men's final between China and Germany and China won 3-0.
Thank you England for a great tournament.
The great unknown was how was China seeded 2 to Germany 1 with China’s record????
Paul Dykes and Granville Thornton
0113 204 7082
Posted 21 Nov 2018, 09:18