UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

On Monday evening, we were delighted to share with you our 2022 TeamGB Juniors.  Tonight is the turn of the other end of the scale, our Veterans.  There will be four teams flying the flag across the O40s, O45s, O55s and O65s.  After tonight we will have only one announcement left, our Open Teams, but for now let us focus on some of our historically most successful teams, our Vets!

 

Great Britain O40s: Debut Team!
Team: Ray Jordan (Captain, 21 caps), Keith Lesser (21), Peter Browning (6), Luke Penna (Debut), Alice Flatman (Debut)

A debut team for TeamGB as we enter for the first time in the O40s category, however bags of experience none less than the 42 caps won by captain Ray Jordan and his long time UK Racketlon sidekick, Keith Lesser. Both men are making their first forays into the world of Vet Teams Racketlon, however Keith has made some good early overtures in the singles.  Ray and Keith are joined by Peter Browning who made has 6 caps all won for the GB 3’s while Luke and Alice make their debut in TeamGB colours.

 

Great Britain O45s: Best – 1st (2013; 2019), 2019 Worlds – 1st
Team: Duncan Stahl (Captain - 27), Ed Westmacott (Debut), Jon Foulds (10), Stuart Rank (5), Peter Barton (Debut), Jo Shelley (14)

The O45s having won in 2013, then proceeded to do everything but win for the next 5 years, with 3rd or 2nd place claimed every year, often in dramatic circumstances.  In Leipzig in 2019 they reclaimed the title they will look to defend in 2022.  Jon and Jo return to defend that title, with Jo the dominant lady in Vets currently holding a stack of World Titles including the clean sweep at O50s level (a 3 time Singles champion to boot!).  They are joined by some newcomers to the team.  Duncan Stahl, FIR president is making his debut in the Vets teams, with all his previous caps coming in the GB 1’s.  Ed Westmacott is on debut in Vienna, but he has arrived in style on the UK Tour and has taken to the Men’s A like a duck to water.  Stuart is also making his Vets debut, having been part of previous GB 4’s teams (lets hope his captain here is as wonderful as his last one…). Debutant Peter Barton rounds out an impressive looking squad.

 

Great Britain O55s: Best – 1st (2013 & 2018 (2015 & 2017 Euros); 2019 Worlds – 3rd
Team: Martyn Langston (Captain - 11), Simon Lau (4), Alan Plater (3), Rakesh Gupta (26), Duncan Marlow (16)

The star performers of our Vets sides, with four titles in recent years.  Three of the top four from the 2021 World O60s will feature in this side (not to mention the last 6 British National O55s titles!) The experienced group of Martyn, Alan, Rakesh and Duncan are joined my Simon Lau who moves up to the O55s for 2022.  Will it be a fifth title in 2022? Who knows the O55s team event is one of the toughest nuts to crack in World Racketlon!

 

Great Britain O65s: Best – 3rd (2018), 2019 Worlds – 4th
Team: Nigel D’Arcy (Captain, 7), Peter Arbuthnot (10), Geoff Jordan (12)

It is a third outing for the O65s with team stalwarts Geoff and Peter returning to see if they can claim another medal, to add to the third place won in 2018.  They are joined in 2022 by another experienced player, Nigel D’Arcy; making his debut in the O65s squad.  These may be the oldest teams in the World Championships, but don’t think they are leaving anything on the court after each of their matches!

 

There we have it, the list of players heading to Vienna for the 2022 Junior & Senior World Championships.  Good luck to all the players over all 11 squads, as for the squads for Graz, they will be announced at the weekend!