The 2018 World Singles & Teams Championships have been a resounding success for British Racketlon. A staggering 13 titles were won in Zurich which when added to our 2 World Doubles titles from back in May in Nuaaloch, means that UK Racketlon has had its most successful year ever in World or European Championships, beating the 13 titles won in 2017. In addition, we won 3 Silver medals and 8 Bronze medals in Zurich, plus 3 Silver and half a Bronze in Nussloch. 2018 has set a standard for UK Racketlon that will be hard to beat in future years!
However, this is a time to celebrate our winners from Zurich and so here they all are!
2018 World Singles & Team's Champions
Our thirteen winners in Zurich were: Hannah Boden (Girls U21s), Jo Shelley (Ladies O50s), Leon Griffiths (Boys U21s), Bruce Shepherd (Men's O60s), Luke Griffiths (Boys U16s), Great Britain 2 (World Teams Division 1 - Keith Lesser, Matilda Parslow, Jordan Dainty, Jack Bishop & Alex Du Noyer), Great Britain U13s (World Teams U13s - Angus Howard & James Vincent), Martyn Langston (Men's O55s), Duncan Stahl (Men's O40s), Richard Middleton (Men's O50s), Angus Howard (Boys U13s), Great Britain O55s (World Teams O55s - Duncan Marlow, Martyn Langston, Rakesh Gupta, Steve Kneller & Bruce Shepherd), and Great Britain U16s (World Teams U16s - Luke Griffiths & Ross Wilson).
2018 World Singles & Teams - Silver and Bronze Medallists
Our Silver Medallists were: Alan Cornish (Men's O70s), Great Britain O45s (World Teams O45s - Mark Steeden, Dianne Baker, Richard Middleton, Jo Shelley, Jon Foulds, Paul Doney, & Ed Harvey), and Great Britain 1 (World Teams Championship Division - Calum Reid, Luke Barnes, Dan Busby, Duncan Stahl, Hannah Boden, Ray Jordan, & Leon Griffiths).
Our Bronze Medallists were: Leon Griffiths (Men's A), Matthew Davidson (Boys U16s), Sally Walker (Ladies C), Great Britain O65s (World Teams O65s - Alan Cornish, Geoff Jordan & Peter Arbuthnot), Claudia Vincent (Girls U16s), James Vincent (Boys U13s), Sarah Ball (Ladies O50s) and Sally Walker (Ladies O50s).
Our warmest and heartiest congratulations to all our medallists. For UK Racketlon there is a lot of joy and pleasure to be taken from all these medallists, but specifically a few things jump out of these images.
1) A number of our players and teams who defended their titles. Richard Middleton, Great Britain U16s & Great Britain 2 all defended their titles in some style.
2) A number of our players won titles they had previously just missed out on. Leon Griffiths (Boys U21s, silver in 2016), Hannah Boden (Girls U21s, fourth in 2016 & 2014)
3) We broke new ground and came home with medals. Duncan Stahl (Men's O40s), Bruce Shepherd (Men's O60s), and Great Britain U13s, all champions in divisions we have never won or even entered players/teams in before, while our Great Britain O65s team also picked up a medal on debut.
4) New players, not our established names and world tour regulars came to the fore and went home with medals. Sarah Ball (Ladies O55s), Sally Walker (Ladies C & ladies O50s), Claudia Vincent (Girls U16s), James Vincent (Boys U13s), Angus Howard (Boys U13s), Alan Cornish (Men's O70s), & Matthew Davidson (Boys U16s). These are all names that would have meant little to their rivals on arrival in Zurich and are now names to be watched.
5) Finally, GB won 4 of the 6 junior World Titles, 7 of the 18 available medals. The juniors are our sports future and it is great to see us dominating these classes.
A Closing Note
As well as dominating on court, UK Racketlon has dominated online as well (although a nod of appreciation to Racketlon France for their Facebook Live efforts!). Through our Facebook, Instragram and Twitter feeds we have shown the world a lot about UK Racketlon. Our coverage has been very successful, drawing in plenty of likes, shares and retweets. Partly that is due to the success of our players, but it is also been due to the huge efforts of one man, Sam Barker. Sam has produced all the frames that you can see in the medal images above and also shot videos which were posted on our Twitter feed. Sam did all this voluntarily, while also trying to play in the Men's D and support his friends at the tournament. UK Racketlon is at the forefront of this sort of coverage and the efforts of Sam and our other volunteers make it possible for us to be what we are. The FIR is now moving in this direction and people like Sam Barker will be crucial in helping the FIR grow our sport across the social media realm! Once again, huge thanks to Sam for all his efforts in Zurich!
The images used in this post are by Sam Barker, with the exception of: Hannah Boden & Leon Griffiths (Boys U21 frame) which are by Inge Omey, Martyn Langston which is by George Roberts/UK Racketlon, Alan Cornish which was provided by the Cornish family and the above image of Sam, taken and framed by Jon Spinks.