UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

English Champion Jane Cook enters the British Open. It will be very interesting to see if any international players come to challenge Jane in the Ladies event, otherwise she is surely the favourite to retain her title.

The Mens entry list is still missing several crucial names. With news that British Number Two (not for much longer) Ray Jordan cannot participate due to other committments, the race to catch British Number One Jermaine Manners is wide open.

Manners' recent form has not been as formidable as we have been accustomed to from the badminton specialist. A loss against FIR President Marcel Weigl in the recent Czech Open followed a semi-final loss against Alex Hartley in the West Midlands Open. Hartley went onto to become the runner-up with Simon Whale winning his second tour title. Weigl, on the other hand, lost at the quarter final stage in Prague to experienced racketloner Rickard Persson. Weigl, unable to even win a sport. Persson then went on to lose in the semi finals to another Austrian, Michi Dickert. Persson was unable in this instance to win a sport and wound up 4th. This shows the strength of the game at the top end. Christoph Krenn then defeated Dickert in the final in an all Austrian affair.

Krenn, now established at two in the world, added the Czech Open crown to his recent Super World Tour victory in Toronto. Interestingly enough, Krenn and Dickert lost their World Doubles title, which they had held for the last two years. They famously retained their title last August in London. This year a certain Finnish pair stopped this from happening. A somewhat unknown tennis player paired with World Champion Mikko Kärkkäinen.  Noone would have however foreseen than Ismo Rönkkö would become World Champion. However, this is the nature of racketlon. You can come from nowwhere and beat the best. This is typified by County squash and tennis player James Bird's victory over British Number Three Keith Lesser in his first ever tournament.

The next tournament abroad that is worth a peak is the Belgium Open. Several British players have already entered and a strong contingent of 20 or more players is expected from the UK. You can enter online now at http://www.kingofrackets.be/. This is the pick of the tournaments abroad with the possible exception of the World Championships (wherever that is held on an annual basis).