First the World Veteran Championships (WVC) in Stockholm, then the Paralympics in London.
Two great goals in 2012 for the MS-handicapped Swedish player Anna-Carin Ahlquist, 39, from the Linné Table Tennis Club in Gothenburg.
Recently she was picked to the Swedish Paralympics team to the London Paralympics. This is the second time for Anna-Carin Ahlquist. Beijing in 2008 was her first.
- I was just one ball short of reaching the semi final in Beijing Anna-Carin says
That lost ball in the semifinal is still lingering in her mind.
It is the first time, though, for her to take part in the World Veteran Championships where the classes are based on age.
A new challenge.
Anna-Carin is wheelchair carried since seven years. Ten years ago she was struck by MS (multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease affecting
the central nervous system)
-No one knew how bad it was from the very beginning. I had no thoughts of spending the rest of my life in a wheel chair. Within eight weeks I would be fit for fight again…
That was definitely not the case.
The sensation in my legs disappeared and also in my right arm.
Not able to feel?
-Before I could feel my upper arm, that is not the case any more, so I have to think fast what to do.
I cannot decide which muscles I want to work, it is the movement I must have in mind. When the feeling disappears, other senses must come into action, like sight and hearing. I must concentrate, listen and look.
In the Paralympics she will meet opponents in wheel chairs. In Stockholm there will be quite another sort of opposition.
- The World Veteran Championships will be an awesome experience and at the same time good preparation for London. I like a game with speed and to meet others, than those I am used to play against, is good practice, Anna-Carin says.
She plays with short pimples on her backhand and long pimples on her forehand. The balsa wood which she uses doesn’t weigh much, 55 grams.
- Even in paralympic table tennis it is much about material
She moves the wheel chair with her left hand which makes it possible to move in depth
She regards he opponents in Stockholm as a great challenge, a chance to continue to develop her game. She says:
- In the Globe Arena in Stockholm I will meet players with another speed than normal and with another game pattern. I will learn a lot from that.
It is with her backhand she wins most of the points, at least in paralympic table tennis. She will see if that stroke is as efficient in Stockholm as it normally is. In an interview in of the big the Swedish daily newspapers, Göteborgsposten, she says:
- I live a very good life and I can do the same things as I could before I fell ill, although it is a little bit more complicated. Quite a lot more complicated, actually.