UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

Stealth British Open 2012 - Podium - Results - Report - Photos

Congratulations to the following winners and the other trophy awardees on the podium:

  1st 2nd 3rd
MSA Ray Jordan Jeremy Krzystyniak Rakesh Gupta
LSA Barbara Capper Fiona Sime Dorisz Dobos
MSB Colin Shermer Stephen Lucas Gary Jackson
MSC Andy Griffiths Simon Iron James Trueman
MS13 Leon Griffiths Dominic Spicer Nick West
MS45 Rakesh Gupta Richard Boreham Duncan Marlow
MDA Stahl/Krzystyniak VanDaele/Manners Appleton/Appleton

Full results may be viewed at Stealth British Open 2012 Results

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/stealthrackets/photos_stream

Event Venue

Mens A - left to right, Krystyniak, Jordan, Gupta.

Can all the winners of Stealth tournaments to put a review of the prizes they got at www.sportsproduct.co.uk

Report (also on racketlon.net)

Comeback king Ray Jordan surprised a few people with a strong performance in the Stealth British Racketlon Open 2012 (29 – 30.9.). Jordan beat Loic Cencig (a strong new French player), Rakesh Gupta (veterans winner and tournament organiser) and England player Jeremy Krystyniak in the final. The former British number one and top twenty player (now 29 on FIR world rankings) takes strong form into the English Open and World Champs (he reached the last 16 of the World Champs a couple of seasons ago beating O'Donnell on agumi). Jordan who holds the world record forgumi arms played and a record of 10 conescutive gumi arm losses, did not have to play a gumi (unusually).

Gupta combines organising and winning

Cencig had dumped out 2011 winner Alex Hartley in round one, which Jordan would have been pleased about having never beaten the squash specialist. Rakesh Gupta has shown age is no barrier to improvement and since his racketlon debut 5 or so years ago he has improved greatly and took his place in the semi finals. Level going into squash with the Jordanator but no joy after that (although he did lead tennis). Krystyniak was chanceless in the final, losing the first two sports and surprisingly losing tennis rather easily. Again the 2012 England team debutant who has also entered the World Champs in Stockholm finished runner-up (as per the 2011 tournament). Gupta will also be very pleased to beat highly ranked player Duncan Stahl for 3rd place in singles.

Capper looks to harder opponents

The Womens A saw highly-UK-ranked Barbara Capper overcoming all challenges, losing only to the excellent table tennis skills of newcomer and ex-professional MalgorzataMuda, and a never-say-die squash performance from FionaSime in the final, though too late for Fiona to avoid the runner-up spot. Dorisz Dobos also ran Barbara very close in both badminton and squash and so deserved her third place spot on the podium. Capper will surely make a podium finish in Stockholm in the Ladies O45's if she travels and has to be one of the top UK favourites for the upcoming World Championships. This is because Calum Reid and Dave Lazarus (last year World Champions) don't travel so Capper holds the best UK chance. Malgorzata learned one of the hard lessons of racketlon, that excellence in one sport is not enough. The other hard racketlon lesson was learned by another newcomer, Lucy Manico, who found to her cost that even winning three sports closely doesn’t guarantee success if the fourth sport is a very one-sided loss. However, the enthusiasm shown on court by our trio of newcomers, completed by Yasmin Lau who finished her playoff strongly to claim 5th place, was very encouraging to see and we trust we’ll see them all again on court in future events. Capper also enjoyed a game in the "Mens Doubles" where Capper/Alex Oliver beat Jordan/Jordan for 5th place. Here is a stat that may never be repeated the Mens Singles winner finishes last in Mens Doubles. There is no doubt also that Jordan needed the doubles for a warm up on Saturday prior to his big win on Sunday.

Some consolation for Krystyniak and Stahl

Stahl/Krystyniak were too strong for Manners/Van Daele in the doubles on Saturday, with Manners not playing singles on sunday. Appleton/Appleton took third after a fit Michael Appleton confused organisers by entering two categories without anyone noticing. Normally with an eagle eye to spot these things, we only allow players in one category per day to avoid scheduling issues. We normally spot these things but somehow this only unraveled like a magic eye picture and it was too late. The doubles winners left their friendship outside when they played in the semi finals of the singles for a chance to play Jordan in the final. In a very even match, Krystyniak edged it and thankfully the team mates from Bulgaria were still smiling afterwards.

England players dominate

Gupta took care of Appleton after winning the first three sports in the veteran semi finals and was too strong for first time vets finalist Richard Boreham in the final. Boreham had a close win over squash specialist Duncan Marlow in the semi finals (+1). Appleton gave Marlow the 3rd place so the scheduling was not an issue. All 4 semi finalists have played for England in the last couple of years but just not in the same team.

Best of the rest

Andy Griffiths won a tough mens C draw which included South Eastern Open Mens B winner Jeremy Henley. ColinShermer won the Mens B with doubles pairing Stephen Davey and Stephen Lucas also performing well alongsideracketlon legend Gary Jackson. The travelling Hans Van Daele will be pleased with 5th place. Leon Griffiths beat Dominic Spicer for 1st place in the 5 player junior round robin. Griffiths also plays in Stockholm and will face sterner tests there.

Closest final of the tournament

Mens B saw our closest final of the tournament, with Colin Shermer prevailing over Stephen Lucas by a margin of just one point. Gary Jackson played his usual steady brand of racketlon to position himself on the third podium spot. MensC was equally closely contested at times with Andy Griffiths showing his sons that they weren’t the only stars in the family, comfortably easing through past Simon Iron in the final, with James Trueman had a harder time of it against Joel Durston for the third spot. How much better Joel would have done if he hadn’t been playing with his lower arm in a plaster cast, we’ll never know - just lucky it wasn’t your racket arm Joel.

Youngsters also there

In the Juniors U13, Leon Griffiths continued his form of previous events and carried all before him, with only Dominic Spicer challenging. However, a dominant badminton performance by Leon in their match sealed the top podium spot, but Dominic battled hard subsequently to retain second spot. Nick West and Jordan Manners also worked hard for their respective wins, while Luke Griffiths can take comfort from the fact that he’ll be dominating the U13s long after the others have moved on to higher agegroups as he’s only 9 years of age and the youngest player on the UK circuit. However, the efforts of all five entrants were rewarded at the presentation, when our very generous sponsors, Stealth Rackets, presented all five with rackets or sports bags.

German player takes the  bus

Noticeable through the days was the effort of significant entry of French players to not only lose their early matches but then to find themselves playing each other. Other continental highlights of the event included our mystery German guest, Horst Vehse, only confirmed as playing the day before the event, turning out to have made the long trip from Germany to London by bus overnight on Friday, only to play on Saturday and repeat the journey on Saturday night in the other direction. If that’s not dedication to racketlon, I don’t know what is! Unluckiest player of the tournament was Andy Major in Mens B, who played his first table tennis and then twisted his ankle severely enough at the start of the badminton to rule him out of the rest of the day’s play. We wish him well in his recovery. Andy’s only consolation is that he now holds the world record for the most expensive game of table tennis ever. Mention should be made of Michael Appleton’s marathon effort – hardly had the sweat stopped dripping on one tennis court than he was hunting down his next table tennis opponent right through the day, keeping the scheduler well and truly on his toes. Let’s make it easy on both of us next year Michael, and split your two events over the two days!

Stealth - a great sponsor for a great tournament

Thanks to sponsor Stealth who supplied an excellent prize pool of rackets and equipment to all podium finishers. The tournament was very smooth and the double act of Richard & Rachel Lawrence continue to provide excellent innovations to the UK tour. The English Open & Champions League are lucky to have such great organisers so remember to book your trip to London.

Report: Keith Lesser and Richard Lawrence

Draws on www.resultreporter.com and

http://englishracketlon.org/images/events/120929_british_open_2012/results.pdf