Sagoo family dominate headlines in Hertfordshire
Duncan Stahl, Resham Sagoo and Jane Cook were victorious in sunny Letchworth in what was another great tournament full of spills and surprises. At this family, atmospheric club - Letchworth for me typifies what sport is all about and is the kind of club most would "love to have in their backyard". With the energetic John Garland hosting and running the event with precise vigour, a good day's sport was enjoyed by all. Resham Sagoo defeated by default his injured father Lucky in the Mens B final after a relatively comfortable route to the final. Brother Jagdev was the surprise package of the day knocking out no less than 3 England internationals which is not a bad return from 4 months into the sport. Alexander Oliver, Stuart Hobden and Alex Hartley who are all strong tennis players could not cope with Jagdev's superlative tennis. A word also for Hartley in the respect of some mind blowing squash performances never before seen in English Racketlon. Hartley defeated Oliver Oxland, Rakesh Gupta and Jagdev Sagoo all 21-0 at squash. In his 3rd/4th playoff against Keith Lesser, Lesser managed to break this trend with a deaf lob to the back corner where Hartley kicked himself as he lost his footing. In quite an unusual way, it seemed a great feat to get 2 points!
Stahl adds name to racketlon stardom as first new player to win a tour event in over a year!
Duncan Stahl didn't have it all his own way, after a relatively straightforward victory over Alistair Cernik in the quarter finals, Stahl met adversary Keith Lesser in the semi's. After a 21-3 table tennis loss and at 11-4 down in the badminton the writing was on the wall for Stahl. Stahl who plays in an international squash competition in Malta before representing England at the upcoming World Team Championships in Milan, fought back in a brutal sporting contest to take 16 points, game on. With a 23 point deficit, the squash was Duncan's trump card and he won out 21-1. The bouncy squash courts not giving anything away in the heat. The tennis was almost a done deal given previous results, but Lesser fought back to gain a credible 13 points and leave a small 6 point gap with a relieved Stahl to breeze to the final to meet Jagdev. Jagdev took down tournament favourite Alex Hartley and the ever present and solid Stuart Hobden. Sagoo hasn't read the script and breezed past the accomplished rackathlete 21-7, 21-10 in the last 2 disciplines which is a very impressive result. Stahl beat the injured Sagoo easily in the final who had to pullout during badminton with injury. Jon Foulds was the last man to win a tour event who hadn't previously and that was a year ago! It's good that new racketlon talent is still being added to the podium and bodes well for the future.
Cook back with a bang to take interesting Ladies Draw
Jane Cook was far too strong for friend and competitor Dianne Baker who came in a credible 2nd in the Ladies 4 way Round Robin. National badminton player Anna Collis was as expected far too strong in the badminton but also showed some talent in the other sports and as with many talented youngsters one racket can easily be substituted for another. Local player Joanna Alcock also had a decent day's play and had a particularly enjoyable match with Collis, winning both table tennis and tennis. Cook and Baker will look for sterner tests at the upcoming British Championships (enter -here) and Dominique Ford who is organising the British Championships will get them on hook for what should be a tremendous event in the surreal and beautiful setting of Dudley. The Merry Hill Shopping Centre and the local curry house is in particular not to be missed for those making a weekend of it why not even have a meal at the stunning waterfront.
Results - check Hertfordshire Racketlon Open 2011 (published by John Garland "club", location "Letchworth"). See you all at the British Champs!