UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope


The inaugural Welsh Racketlon Open proved to be a great success, the venue having excellent facilities, & despite a few 'acts of god', the event ran to schedule, producing some excellent competions, some close results & introduced a few new talents to the established players in attendance. The full results spreadsheet is now available online...

The Welsh Racketlon Open – David Lloyd, Cardiff - Saturday 1st August 2009

The Inaugural Welsh Racketlon Open, a one day singles & doubles event, attracted 51 entries across all categories. The day proved to be a great success & despite a few 'acts of god' the event ran to schedule, producing some excellent competition, some close results & introduced a few new talents to the established players in attendance.

The Cardiff venue easily provided a minimum two indoor courts for each sport & at times we were able to utilise 4 squash courts, 3 badminton courts & 4 or more tennis courts. The additional courts meant that the tight schedule was reasonably adhered too, with only a few periodic queues for squash & tennis. The venue also offered very good catering & bar facilities, & has a hotel immediately next door, perhaps allowing for future Welsh  Racketlon Opens to become a full FIR World Tour event.

Event Photography

Men's Elite Class 'A'
 first round saw four regulars up against four players moving up from B with predictable results. Ray Jordan took the table tennis 21-12 & led the badminton 17-13 before injury forced Phil Watson (8th) to pull out. Meanwhile Alex Hartley beat Gary Tovey (6th) 19-21,21-6,21-2 (+32) & Jon Foulds defeated Chris Hobbs (5th) 21-4,21-11,17-21 (+23) both before the tennis. In the remaining encounter Jonathan Healey (7th) put up a spirited fight against Carl Jennings, who eventually won early in the tennis 9-21,21-1,21-12,6-1 (+22).

Both semi-finals proved to be close affairs. In the encounter between Foulds & Jennings, the former took the early initiative with a 21-6 table tennis victory. Jennings then took the badminton 21-2, before losing the squash 21-11, giving Foulds a 6 point lead going into the tennis. However Jennings tennis proved too strong & with a 21-8 victory he sealed the match (+7). 

In the other match Jordan took the table tennis 21-8 & badminton 21-9 before Hartley pegged  back the deficit with a 21-7 squash win, giving Jordan an 11 point lead going into the tennis. Once again the stronger tennis player won through, Hartley taking the tennis 21-5 & the match (+5).

In the final, Hartley took the table tennis 21-8, but managed just 3 points in the badminton to trail by 5 points going into the squash. Nevertheless Hartley took the squash convincingly 21-8, taking an 8 point lead into the tennis, meaning that Jennings had to win the tennis, conceding less than 14 points. The tennis proved to be a close & competitive encounter, but in the end Hartley did enough to reach the required total of 14, conceding 13 points, taking the match (+9) & with it the 2009 Welsh Racketlon Open title.

Men's Advanced Class 'B'
, with four regulars playing in the elite group, still attracted 16 competitors, with 15 competing on the day. In the first round, Alex McMillan received a bye, Mark Johnson beat Frank Molony (15th) 4-21,21-5,9-21,21-2 (+6), Toby Eckley defeated Stephen Brown (14th) 21-14,21-17,21-13,21-15 (+25) & Bruce Wheatley won against Rupert Knibbs (13th) 21-13,16-21,21-13,11-0 (+22). In other matches Marc Latcham defeated Amit Aswanim (12th) 21-18,21-4,21-0,18-21 (+38),  Niranjan Shimoga beat Sam Carr (11th) 21-6,21-5,1-21,15-21 (+5), Alan Rand ended the challenge of Adam Gross (10th) 20-22,21-7,21-13,3-3 (+20) & Rakesh Gupta looked impressive defeating Tolu Falola (9th) 21-3,21-1,5-21,11-5 (+28).

In the effective quarter-finals, McMillan overcame Latcham (8th) 21-12,21-6,14-21,11-6 (+22), Wheatley defeated Shimoga (7th) 2-21,21-13,21-3,15-1 (+21), Gupta put out Eckley (6th) 12-21,21-0,21-17,21-18 (+19) & Johnson ended the challenge of Rand (5th) 21-14,21-8,9-21,13-8 (+13).  

In the semi-finals, Wheatley saw off Johnson (4th) 8-21,21-18,21-3,13-3 (+18), whilst Gupta put out McMillan (3rd) 21-5,21-0,021,6-6 (+16) In the final, Gupta took the early initiative, winning the table tennis 21-6, then the badminton 21-11 to take a +25 lead into the squash. In the squash Wheatley hit back with a convincing 21-4 win to reduce the deficit to 8 points going into the tennis. The tennis game of Wheatley proved too strong, however, & he took the tennis 21-1 & with it the match (+12) & the men’s ’B’ title.

Mens Amateur Class 'C' saw three ‘old hands’ competing with 5 ‘new boys’, although not all competing in their first event. In the two battles of the 2009 debutants, Simon Williams, aka RacketlonAddict, put in a strong performance to put out John Kaleekal (8th) 21-6,8-21,21-3,21-6 (+35) & Robert Wilde edged Adrian Yuen (7th) 21-9,8-21,21-2,16-21 (+13). Meanwhile Richard Lawrence completed a victory over Charles Eaton (6th) 15-21,21-6,21-14,16-21 (+11) & Stuart Scourfield put out Daniel Gillett (5th) 4-21,21-15,21-2,21-17 (+12). 

In the semi-finals Lawrence looked strong against Wilde (4th), winning the encounter 21-6,21-10,12-21,5-5 (+17), whilst Scourfield triumphed over Williams in a much tighter encouner 12-21,21-16,21-4,9-16 (+6). The final proved to be a similarly tight encounter, with Lawrence making the early running with a 21-4 table tennis victory, followed by a 21-18 badminton win. Scourfield then brought the match back into contention with a 21-5 squash win, trailing by just 4 points heading into the tennis. Scourfield took the tennis 21-11, with sufficient margin to take the match (+6) & with it the men’s ‘C’ title.

Womens Elite Class 'A' was a round robin affair in which Natalie Lawrence secured victory with a win before the tennis, over Rosa Rius (2nd), in the effective title decider 21-3,21-9,14-21 (+23), with Dominique Ford in third spot. 

Mens Seniors Over 55 was another round robin encounter, in which David Sutlieff took the title with wins over Charles Eaton (4th) 9-21,21-3,21-2 (+25) & Ken Tunstall (3rd) 7-21,21-15,.21-9,21-19 (+6). In the closest of encounters, Richard Lawrence (2nd) defeated Sutlieff, the eventual winner, by one point, in a gummiarm decider, after initially thinking he had lost the match by a single point. After the realisation that the match was all square they returned to the court, only for the result to reverse in a cruel twist 21-8,21-19,13-21,15-21 (+1). However, Lawrence failed to take the title, courtesy of a narrow defeat to Ken Tunstall 16-21,7-21,21-11,21-9 (+3), Sutlieff winning the title on countback.  

Mens Senior Over 45 added Rakesh Gupta to the equation, along with the Over 55 competitors. Gupta secured victory courtesy of wins over David Sutlieff (2nd) 21-4,21-8,14-21 (+23) & Ken Tunstall (4th) 21-6,21-3, 6-21,8-21 (+5). Richard Lawrence (3rd) & Charles Eaton (5th) completed the placings.

Men’s Elite Doubles Class 'A' was yet another round robin encounter, in which Daniel Gillett & Gary Tovey took the title with wins over Stuart Scourfield & Robert Wilde 11-5,12-10,3-11,11-4 (+7) & Lee Chong & EuJin Loo 21-3,4-21,20-22,21-15 (+5). Scourfield & Wilde (2nd) sneaked the runners-up spot beating Chong & Loo (3rd) by a single point 21-15,9-21,21-11,18-21 (+1).

Elite Mixed Doubles Class 'A', round robin again, saw Natalie Lawrence secure a second title, this time in partnership with Jon Foulds, with a concession from Chris Hobbs & Dominique Ford (2nd)  & wins over Tolu Falola & Rosa Rius (3rd) 21-8,21-8,20-22 (+24) & Adrian Yuen & Heather MacFarlane (4th) 21-6,21-15,21-7 (+35). Hobbs & Ford recorded wins over Falola & Rius (+12) & Yuen & MacFarlane (+14), for their second place & Falola & Rius narrowly defeated Yuen & MacFarlane (+2) to take the third sport.

The presentation ceremony duly arrived, and images from the event & ceremony can be found on the ERA website & facebook groups. The inaugural Welsh Racketlon Open proved to be a great success, with feedback from the venue management & members suggesting that the event will be welcomed back in 2010, perhaps bigger & better.

The English Racketlon Association would like to thank everyone for making it yet another great event. We would also like to encourage anyone with an interest in helping with the establishment of a Welsh Racketlon Association, supported by the ERA, to approach ERA personnel.

The 2009 Calendar of events continues with the Carlton & Dunlop English Racketlon Open, an FIR World Tour event, at Redbridge Sport & Leisure, Redbridge on the 22nd/23rd August 2009. There is still time to enter as entry closes on the 17th August 2009, although some categories may close earlier.

This is then followed by the inaugural County Team Championships at Letchworth Sports & Tennis Club, Letchworth, on the 12th September 2009.Then it’s the longstanding Scottish Open at David Lloyd, Edinburgh, another FIR World Tour event, from the 25th to 27th September 2009. 

Full event details can be found on the ERA website.

Gary Tovey
Racketlon Loafer
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Results Summary

Mens Elite (A)

Alex Hartley
Carl Jennings
Ray Jordan

Mens Advanced (B)

Bruce Wheatley
Rakesh Gupta
Alex McMillan

Mens Amateur (C)

Stuart Scourfield
Richard Lawrence
Simon Williams

Womens Elite (A)

Natalie Lawrence
Rosa Rius
Dominique Ford

Mens Seniors Over 45

Rakesh Gupta
David Sutlieff
Richard Lawrence

Mens Seniors Over 55

David Sutlieff
Richard Lawrence
Ken Tunstall

Mens Elite Doubles (A)

Daniel Gillett & Gary Tovey
Stuart Scourfield & Robert Wilde
Lee Chong & EuJin Loo

Mixed Elite Doubles (A)

Natalie Lawrence & Jon Foulds
Dominique Ford & Chris Hobbs
Rosa Rius & Tolu Falola