UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

3 Bronze Medals - Outstanding Juniors

England came back from Milan with 3 bronze medals in Junior team, Junior doubles and Ladies Doubles. Chris Batey and 16 yr old Joshua Kashdan-Brown (in only his 2nd racketlon event) were the outstanding players of the tournament with double medals in both junior team and junior doubles. The junior team medalists joining Batey and Kashdan-Brown on the podium were Sarah Jane Perry, Charlie Wright and Alexander Oliver. All were outstanding and Wright joined Kashdan-Brown as a maiden tournament abroad and both are great talents for the future. All played their part with wins over Belgium and Italy and narrow losses to Germany and Austria. Next year this is up for grabs as star Austrian Joey Schubert is too old and all the boys can still play. We just need a new lady as Perry will be too old for juniors also. Start searching at all of your universities and schools for a talented female youngster so England can bring home the gold in 2012! Did I mention Batey/Kashdan-Brown won their bronze match in junior doubles by a gumi? (sudden death point when the match is drawn after all 4 sports).

Left to right: Sarah Jane Perry (played all matches), Joshua Kashdan-Brown (played v Italy & Germany), Alexander Oliver (played v Germany & Belgium), Chris Batey (played v Austria & Italy) and Charlie Wright (played v Austria & Belgium).

Lawrence takes bronze and Foster/Greatorex take 4th

Natalie Lawrence teamed up with Kerstin Peckl from Austria to take bronze in the womens doubles. Another podium was probable in 45's doubles but England captain Stuart Foster and doubles specialist David Greatorex missed out by the narrowest of margins. All matches from quarter finals onwards were after 730pm and this should have been prevented with better organisation (the route causes being players playing too many events in too short a timeframe). When the day's play started at 8am this was not really acceptable. The important thing is to learn from this and this shows that allowing players to play in multiple categories simultaneously whilst starting and finishing in one day with 5 rounds doesn't work. Next year also more than 3 tennis courts will be needed for this competition and an extra day. England will be applying for the Singles World Championships in 2012 (olympics year) and the team world champs will be in another country (hopefully Sweden!).

The Mens team and Vets team suffered from the loss of stronger players who stayed at home, including "star" player Ray Jordan who missed his flight, unfortunately because of traffic on the M25. England soldiered on and recruited New Zealander Jason Granville who has a British passport and happened to be at the tournament playing doubles, hoping for a NZ team in the future. Open team losses to 2009 champions Poland was expected and a subsequent win over Russia perked the team up with a disappointing loss against Czech to finish, although it should be noted Czech nearly beat silver finishers Sweden who beat 2010 champs Austria. The vets lost to Canada in round one and subsequently beat Austria, but lost to Poland which again was a slightly weak finish but experience gained and enjoyment which will be taken forward to other tournaments. Congratulations to Jon Healey, Andy Hibell and Selwyn Walmsley on their England team selection and also to Duncan Stahl, Isabelle Tyrrell and Chris McKee who made promising debuts. Stuart Foster, Rakesh Gupta, Jon Foulds, Natalie Lawrence and Keith Lesser won further caps following previous selections. The other highlight was the presence of Racketlon Team India which was very exciting and every country received a special hand crafted pendant from the newest country in racketlon! Other team selections are below:

V Poland (Open) LOST

Singles 1 - Jason Granville

Singles 2 - Keith Lesser

Doubles - Duncan Stahl/Chris McKee

Ladies – Isabelle Tyrrell

V Russia (Open) WON

Singles 1 – Keith Lesser

Singles 2 – Duncan Stahl

Doubles – Jon Foulds/Chris McKee

Ladies – Isabelle Tyrrell

V Czech (Open) LOST

Singles 1 – Jason Granville

Singles 2 – Chris McKee

Doubles – Jon Foulds/Duncan Stahl

Ladies – Natalie Lawrence

---------------

 

V Canada (+45’s) LOST

Singles 1 – Rakesh Gupta

Singles 2 – Selwyn Walmsley

Doubles – Stuart Foster/David Greatorex

V Austria (+45’s) WON

Singles 1 – Rakesh Gupta

Singles 2 – Selwyn Walmsley

Doubles – Jonathan Healey/Andy Hibell

V Poland (+45’s) LOST

Singles 1 – Stuart Foster

Singles 2 – Selwyn Walmsley

Doubles – Jonathan Healey/Andy Hibell

A further report from www.racketlon.net is below which outlines the other results and stories. All scores can be found on http://www.resultreporter.com/node/89891

 

FINLAND BIG WORLD CHAMPS DOMINATOR


Finland took three of four major titles at the Team and Doubles World Champs in Milano. Bjoernstroem/Bjoernstroem won the Women Doubles, Kaerkkainen/Roenkkoe the Men Doubles and the Nationalteam finally won their first World Champs Title. The only major surprise came in Mixed where later World Champions Joey/Schubert and Marta Jez (see pic) were the first ever pair to beat Kärkkainen/Björntröm. Sweden ruled the Senior draws including +45 team and +45 doubles gold, while Austria was hard to beat in the Junior competitions taking u21 team, u21 mixed and half of u21 doubles gold. All draws, results and end positions are now on http://www.resultreporter.com/node/89891. 

Finland take missing title


It was the only missing title for Finland, after 9 tries they finally managed and took the first national team gold medal. In a very exciting 16 country draw reigning World Champion Austria got outcasted by the comeback of Sweden. Vice-World Champion 2005 Roland Helle was the comeback player oft he weekend and was responsible for both close Swedish victories against the Czech Republic (+3) in round one and Austria (+5) in round two. The other dissapointment was Germany who also failed to take a medal and let Poland take bronze. In the Scandinavian final Sweden was chanceless against impressing Finns, who have now also found a double with Antti Tyskkä which can win matches. With strong Canada as 5th and India two non-European teams took part.

Rönkkö/Kärkkainen regain title


No big surprises came in Men Doubles where the top three seeded plus Rönkkö/Kärkkainen reached the semifinals. Strange was only that no less than three matches were decided by one single point in the first round with Hasmats/Rickan, Neidhardt/Deck and Granville the lucky ones. In the end the Finns took back the World Champs title with a clear final victory over Dickert/Krenn this time after a clear Tabletennis success (21:11) with an impressing performance by Rönkkö. Third place went to Schubert/Köpf, who gave Samonek/Stolicki no change in the play-off match.

Unbeatable Change in the Mixed


The biggest surprise of the tournament probably took place in the Mixed Doubles, where Björnström Kärkkäinen got there first defeat ever already in the second round against the later World Champions Austrian Joey Schubert and Marta Jez from Poland. The austrian/polish pair are now the unbeatable ones after winning their second tournament in a row with a final victory over Köpf/Altmann. Bronze went to Samonek/Doroskiewicz, because Engberg/Adamsson hat do give up. Number one seeded Schüler/Bosselmann suprisingly lost to Austrian youngsters Seehofer/Austaller and other medal favourites Lawrence/Persson did not even turn up. 

Sister Act in Womens Doubles


In Women Doubles the seeds fell like raindrops including topseeded Eisler/Zeoli who lost already in the quarterfinals to the Björnström sisters. Reigning World Champion Michaela guided her younger sister to an unexpected victory especially after the final was lost 4:21 in Tabletennis to Kaminska/Jez. Nevertheless the Finns came back in Badminton and Squash and after a fairly equal Tennis set it was the fist sister gold in Racketlon history. In the match for Bronze Natalie Lawrence and Kerstin Peckl surprised to take the place on the podium instead of two seeded Scharnagel/Altmann.

Austrian victories in all Junior events


In the u21 Team competition Austria with Elisabeth Seehofer, Christian Austaller and Joey Schubert was able to defend its victory in the final with a plus of 5 points against Germany. After a clear lead before Tennis the Germans came back and nearly turned the match. Third place went to England again. In the first ever u21 Mixed Doubles it was sister Christine Seehofer to take the title together with Christian Austaller in the final against Kleb and Canadian Patrick Laplante, who also had to settle with silver in u21 Juniors Doubles, where Joey Schubert lead the only 15! Year old Joshua Zeoli to victory. 

Sweden comes back in Seniors


In the Seniors draws the Swedes showed they are back. Hans Mullama, Hakan Granberg, Peter Bittar, Stefan Lövgren and Thomas Brodin took home the +45 World Champs title, with a final victory over the same runner-ups as last year, Hungary. Granberg/Bittar also took +45 gold, by beating Sach/Sakovics. With Canada on the podium in the teams and in +45 Doubles with Horatio Pintea and Danny Shannon, it was a strong signs for Europeans to watch out that new Racketlon players from the rest of the World are just about to emerge. The 55+ match for silver ended with a gummiarm victory for Devaty/King over Eklund/Stalberg.

Resultreporter Server break down caused chaos


The weekend in Milan was partly chaotic, but mostly not the fault oft he organisers around Tournament Director Gianpaolo Martire. As the Resultreporter server went down for the whole of Friday and parts of Saturday, no score sheets could be printed and results entered and Live Score was not possible the whol weekend. „In addition the time schedule for the nationalteams on Saturday was too tight, which was my fault“, admits FIR-Delegate Marcel Weigl. The biggest problem as always was caused by players, starting in more than one draw on the same day and then a thunder storm even let the lights go out for half an hour on Saturday night. Very positive was the hotel and the walking distance to the sportscentre, which was not the newest but fairly good for Racketlon with tribunes for the Centre Courts. Not to mention the players dinner in the centre and later in the centre of Milan. „In general we hope everyone was quite satisfied“, said Martire and hopes the players will comeback for a FIR World Tour event in 2012.

Team World Champs 2011, Milan/Italy


Elite
1. Finland
2. Sweden
3. Poland

Juniors u21
1. Austria
2. Germany
3. England

Seniors +45
1. Sweden
2. Hungary
3. Canada

Doubles World Champs 2011, Milan/Italy


Men Doubles
1. Mikko Kärkkäinen/Ismo Rönkkö, Fin
2. Christoph Krenn/Michael Dickert, Aut
3. Joey Schubert/Alex Köpf, Aut/Ger

Mixed Doubles
1. Marta Jez/Joey Schubert, Pol/Aut
2. Silke Altmann/Alex Köpf, Ger
3. Agata Doroskiewicz/Krystof Samonek, Pol

Women Doubles
1. Carina Björnström/Michaela Björnström, Fin
2. Magda Kaminska/Marta Jez, Pol
3. Natalie Lawrence/Kerstin Peckl, Eng/Aut

u21 Juniors Doubles
1. Joey Schubert/Joshua Zeoli, Aut/Ger
2. Lukas Windischberger/Patrick Laplante, Aut/Can
3. Kashdan-Brown/Batey, Eng

u21 Mixed Doubles
1. Christine Seehofer/Christian Austaller, Aut
2. Svenja Kleb/Patrick Laplante, Ger/Can
3. Elisabeth Seehofer/Lukas Windischberger, Aut

+45 Seniors Doubles
1. Peter Bittar/Hakan Granberg, Swe
2. Volker Sach/Peter Sakovics, Ger/Hun
3. Horatio Pintea/Danny Shannon, Can

+55 Seniors Doubles
1. Schwan/Gürlich, Cze
2. Devaty/King, Cze
3. Eklundh/Stalberg, Swe

Amateur Doubles
1. Zawirski/Wodarczyk, Pol
2. Goriely/Lahourcade, Bel
3. Windischberger/Austaller, Aut

All draws and Endpositons on http://www.resultreporter.com/node/89891 

FIR President and World Champs Delegate 
Marcel Weigl