We got the chance to talk to Henrik Larsson as he arrived in the hotel room a couple of hours before his first match. Henrik Larsson is playing in the Wheelchair Divison of the European Championships, which starts off with the 10-Ball tournament followed by the 8-Ball and finally his favorite discipline the 9-Ball.
"The 9-Ball suits my playing style better than the other two disciplines, says Henrik Larsson. In 8-Ball and 10-Ball you have to call your shot i.e. say what you are about to do. This forces you to play a more conservative game. In 9-Ball however, you don’t have to call out your shots. This means I can have a plan A, B and C for each shot, allowing me to play what you call an attack-game and creating a flow in the game I really I like. I also have the muscles needed for some of the difficult shots in 9-Ball."
Last time Henrik Larsson won a European Championship Gold medal was in 2011 when he brought home the title in the 9-Ball discipline. Since then Henrik has become a father of two, had a couple of injuries and simply not had the time to spend training. That doesn’t really mean he’s been out of the game completely, after all he is the current world champion in 9-Ball Pool.
"In the 90’s it was easier for me to win a gold medal, Henrik Larsson notes. My technique and understanding of the game was better than my competitors. Today many of the players have caught up with me, and even if my best game is better than their best game, my worst game is not."
After the 2015 European Championship the next tournament is the European Tour, where Henrik Larsson will be competing against standing players as a venture to take his game to the next level.
"Competing against standing players is far from playing on equal terms. Then again I don’t expect to win the tournament but I expect to win matches and improve my game against some of the best players in the world. This year’s European Championships and European Tour will be a new starting point for me. Next year I will beat the records."
Henrik Larsson’s first match will be against the current 10-Ball Champion, Fred Dinsmore at 16:00 (GMT+1). The match can be viewed online at www.kozoom.com