Matilda to the Olympics!

In 2008, Matilda Ekholm qualified for the Olympics in Beijing. That is every table tennis players dream, to be able to play in the Olympics in China. The Swedish Olympic committee choose not to let her participate. Because she wasnt a hope for the future, she wasnt in one of their own programs and she

didnt have good enough results. At that time her world ranking was 106.

In 2012 Matilda won the world qualification. She won a ticket to the Olympics. She had fought for four years to get the same opportunity again to qualify for the Olympics. In Mars this year her world ranking was number 50. For the first time in Swedish history, a woman was higher ranked than all the male Swedish players. But once again, she got a negative answer from the Swedish Olympic Committee. With this explanation:

"The basic criteria to get selected is that the athlete should be able to compete for a top 8 position. Matilda can not stand that test. She has had a positive development, but there is still a long way to go to be able to compete with the top layer of players. We need more good female players who are willing to give it all and play abroad. Then maybe someone could take that step.Its obvious that the Swedish Table Tennis association has the ambition to get there and we would like to help them achieve it."


So how do SOC think we will get more female players to give it all, when they refuse to give the opportunity to fight in the Olympics for our only woman who has succeeded?
How do they think, when they send three male players to the Olympics, who all but one has a lower world ranking than Matilda. And the only one who was a higher ranking wont play the singles, he will just compete in the team competition.
What goes on in SOCs mind when they wont let a player who won the World Qualifications go to the Olympics?

To have the guts to try for a career in table tennis is not something that is given, especially not if you are a girl. To do it and to succeed doing it, is impressive. Matilda is is fully committed and continues to get better and better. She is a role model to all girls playing table tennis in Sweden.

Other countries don't hesitate when sending their qualified players to the Olympics. Matildas table tennis friends all around the world are wondering whats going on here in Sweden. And frankly, so are we.


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Matilda Ekholm lyckades kvalificera sig till OS i Peking 2008. Varje bordtennisspelares dröm. Pingisens Mecka. SOK valde att ej ta ut henne, med skälen att hon ej var ett framtidslöfte, inte var med i SOK:s egna satsning samt inte hade tillräckliga resultat.Matilda var då rankad som nummer 106 i världen.

2012 vann Matilda OS-världskvalet. Hon vann en OS-plats. Hon hade kämpat under fyra års tid för att få samma chans igen till en osbiljett. Hennes ranking för mars 2012 var nummer 50 i världen. För första gången var en kvinna den högst rankade bland svenskarna i världen (hon hade en högre världsranking än alla männen). Men än en gång fick hon ett nej. Denna gång säger SOK så här:

"Det grundläggande uttagningskriteriet är att den aktive ska ha visat konkurrenskraft om en topp 8-placering. Matilda klarar inte det kriteriet. Hon har haft en positiv utveckling, men fortfarande är det en bra bit till att utmana det övre skiktet. Vi skulle behöva fler duktiga tjejer som satsar internationellt. Då kanske någon skulle kunna ta det steget. Det är uppenbart att förbundet har ambitionen att nå dit och vi tittar gärna tillsammans på hur basen skulle kunna bli bredare för en rejäl toppsatsning."

Hur tänker SOK att vi ska få fler tjejer att satsa när de inte ger den tjej som faktiskt lyckas chansen att fightas på OS?
Hur tänker SOK när de skickar tre män där alla utom en har sämre ranking än Matilda. Och den enda med högre ranking (Jens Lundqvist) får ej spela singel utan bara lagspel.
Hur tänker SOK när de inte tar ut en spelare som faktiskt VUNNIT världskvalet. Är inte det ett resultat?

Att våga satsa på bordtennis är inte en självklarhet, speciellt inte som tjej. Att klara av att lyckas med det är en grymt bra prestation. Matilda satsar helhjärtat och fortsätter hela tiden att utvecklas. Hon är ett föredöme för alla tjejer i bordtennissverige.

Andra länder skickar med självklarthet sina spelare som kvalat sig in till OS. Matildas spelarkollegor ute i världen undrar vad vi här i Sverige håller på med. Och det gör vi också.

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