David Powell has been in Sweden @ Eslov Club, with another MSTT player Heming Hu, since early October and be there till early February. Here is his first update.
David Powell – Sweden 2015
Earlier this year, I decided to head overseas to prepare for the Australian Olympic trials that will be held in early 2016. I have worked full time since April, so this was a big decision, sacrificing work amongst other things to try to prepare the best I can come Olympic Qualifying. I decided to come to Eslov, Sweden. As you will have probably read in Heming Hu’s updates, the club environment here is professional with many top players who live and practice here at the club. The coaches here are all national team coaches from either Denmark or Sweden, so I have definitely benefited from their expertise.
I arrived in Eslov early October, and I will be here until early February 2016. I came home briefly for the National Top 10 where I finished in 5th position (defeated Cosgiff, Tsao x2, Chambers, lost to W.Townsend, Yan). My reason for travelling home for such a short period was to Qualify for the 2016 ITTF Oceania Cup to be staged next year, which is the pre-qualifying for the Men’s World Cup. I haven’t gained direct entry into this event (this went to the winner of the Top 10 event), so I will wait and see if I gain entry from the ITTF Oceania Points List ( Currently Henzell sits at Number 1, I sit on number 2).
I am playing both Swedish league and Dannish league here. I am playing second division in Sweden (Wins 1, Loses 1) and first division in Denmark (Wins 5, Loses 0). My best performance to date was beating Finn Tugwell who was a medalist in Doubles (with M. Maze) at the 2004 Olympic Games. I have played two seasons of league in Poland (2012-2014) so it has been a fairly familiar experience for me. It is important to mix up the training with regular matches, which keeps your mind fresh and ready for competition. I also played the Swedish Open (Major Series Pro Tour Event) in Stockholm earlier this month. I drew Marc Duran first round (WR 124) and lost 4-1. I was a little disappointed with this result as I didn’t feel like I played fantastically. It is important to take what you can from the match, and have the big picture in your head (that being the 2016 Olympic Games)
Next week, I will travel with Heming to the Finland Open in Helsinki. This will be my second time playing this event. It is very unique in that it is a progressive knockout, which means you will play for a placing. I will play around 6-7 matches then we also have the team’s event. Time will tell for our results, but we are physically and mentally ready. I’ll provide another update prior to the Australian Olympic Qualifying Event.