Swedish table tennis veteran Jorgen Persson has said he will not compete in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after his seventh attempt to win an Olympic medal was thwarted in the London Games.
Persson lost his second-round match 0-4 to Croatia’s Andrej Gacina in the men’s singles at ExCeL in London, Xinhua reports.
“I won’t be at the next Olympics. If you can’t pass the second round here, there will be no chance for Rio. The game’s getting quicker and quicker and everything has to come to an end. And this is the end,” Persson said.
During the 28-minute match, Persson could hardly withstand Gacina’s fierce attacks, losing 5-11, 6-11, 7-11 and 4-11.
“He put the pressure on me and unfortunately I could not change the game. It was his game all the way. He made it difficult for me,” Persson said.
Persson has competed at every Games since table tennis became an Olympic sport at Seoul 1988. The 1991 World Champion beat Segun Toriola of Nigeria in the first round Saturday.
Persson said he still enjoys playing table tennis, but he hasn’t figured out what he will do next. “Maybe I’ll play the league matches in China.”
Another seven-time Olympian, Jean-Michel Saive of Belgium also lost in the second round. He was beaten by Kalinikos Kreanga of Greece.
The most senior female paddler in London, Luxembourg’s Ni Xia Lian was defeated by 16-year-old American Ariel Hsing.
The only veteran that shone Sunday was Spain’s He Zhiwen. The 50-year-old player trailed 0-3 but fought back, trusting his sophisticated skills and vast experience. He defeated Polland’s Wang Zengyi 4-3.