UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

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There is terrific representation from the domestic nations. The 7th Scottish Open has not attracted the "top players" from around the world, who seem to be missing from the more established tournaments that involve extensive travel.


There is no doubt the mainland European tournaments benefit from the Central & Eastern European nations being able to travel shorter distances to participate.


It's hard to see past Natalie Lawrence in the Ladies and I wouldn't bet against Wingrove Manners in the Veterans.


The tournament is spearheaded by the "big 3". British Number One Ray Jordan, future British Number One Jermaine Manners & one of Belgium's most talanted players, number one seed - Gert Peersman. Jon Foulds is the other main contender. Having played them all, lets give an insight into the "big 3".


Peersman - his "slightly illegal" table tennis serve baffles most players but the experienced English players should be able to handle it. He is a fit young man dashing round the court like a man 20 years younger. Could this be Gert's first tour title?


Manners - The answer to the above question is "probably not". Gert has little chance against Jermaine Manners. A squash win for Peersman would be a must in this potential final, but it's hard to see past the man from Leeds in what would be his second major title after the British Open in May (hosted by Ipswich Sports Club). This followed other great victories in Bristol & Nottingham. Mark Jackson & Simon Whale did thwart Manners at Dudley and Letchworth accordingly.


Jordan - the biggest of the big 3. What can Jordan do? The doubters may say he is more suited to boxing than racketlon, but watch what he can do with a table tennis bat, quite extraordinary. This could be Ray's big day. If he can dominate the "T" in squash, he might well be able to cause an upset. Watch out for Bill Fleming though, a dark horse indeed! Bill does hold a sensational victory against Jordan in doubles. Earlier in the year in Budapest a baffled Andy Petersons almost lost the shirt on his back. Nominated referee Petersons was willing to bet that the combination of Norton & Jordan would be too much for Lesser & Fleming. After close badminton & table tennis, Petersons was sure the higher profile pair would romp home in squash, this proved not to be the case and a collapse followed in tennis leaving Fleming & Lesser with a clear victory. Will Jordan take revenge? Has he recovered from such a crushing loss? All will be revealed in due course!