World Champs 2011 - Preview
The annual end of season world tour event takes place this weekend in Vienna.
Best of luck to all British competitors including Calum Reid, Dianne Baker, David Lazarus, Duncan Stahl, Chris McKee, Jermaine Manners, Rakesh Gupta, Josh Kashdan-Brown, Julian Kashdan-Brown, Shawn Doney, Steve Kneller, Maureen Thompson, Jordan Manners & Andrew Fletcher.
There are many good medal chances so hopefully some good news to report over the weekend! The below article is sourced from sister website www.racketlon.net
Who will step in Mikko’s footsteps?
With defending champion Mikko Kärkkainen not coming, the Men Elite draw will be as interesting as maybe never before. Top favourites for the World Champs title judging from the number of World Tour titles are probably world number one Christoph Krenn (12 World Tour victories), Swedish number one Stefan Adamsson (8) and the highlander in top shape again Calum Reid (8). TopseededKrenn though might have serious problems against Michi Dickert (4) in the quarters already because his fellow leads the head-to-head statistic. Reid might encounter problems with two seeded Joey Schubert (4) in the quarters too, while it looks like Adamsson has the easiest path to the semis. “In any case now that Mikko is not here, there is a completely different kind of pressure for all of us others”, says Schubert. Other serious contenders for medals apart of the mentioned above are Jesper Ratzer, Ismo Rönkkö, Peter Duyck or Alex Köpf.
Who grabs Michaela’s title?
The same counts in the Women Elite draw, where Michaela Björnström has not been beaten for over two years. With other top players like Martina Kakosova, Marielle van der Woerdt, Natalie Lawrence or this year’s four times World Tour winner and now injured Isabelle Tyrrell not on the entry list, the Women Elite title is up for the grab as easily as probably never again. The player with the most World Tour titles is Silke Altmann (7), but neither she nor topseeded Kerstin Peckl (3) are the top favourites for gold. It rather looks like the possible quarterfinal between Zuzana Kubanova and Marta Jez could already decide about the finalist. On the bottom half it looks like Natalie Zeoli will be the one to beat to reach the final.
Gus Hansen and Stefan Koubek in Men Elite draw
The last directly accepted player in the Men Elite 48-draw was Thomas Wagner, which gives a cut-off at WR 68. Two of the six wildcards were distributed by RFA – Racketlon Federation Austria to their players Lukas Windischberger (WR 73) and Roland Schmölzer (WR 95). The other four FIR wildcards went to the only players in the Men Elite draw from Slovenia, Janez Makovec (WR 354) and Bulgaria, Stelian Stankov (WR 219) as well as the prominent Austrian Squash nationalteam player Jacob Dirnberger as well as poker star Gus Hansen from Denmark. Former Daviscupper StefanKoubek took the position of injured Cedric Junillon as a last second Alternate player. The three women elite wildcards went to Annie Pier Audet (CAN), Shona Kerr (USA) and Lina Lindholm (SWE). All three countries don’t have any other player in the 24-player-draw where the last direct acceptance was Zuzana Kubanova with the cut-off at WR 43. “Canada and USA are the only countries outside Europe in the elite draw, so this was an easy decision”, says FIR-Delegate Marcel Weigl.
Werner Schlager leads Austrian Racket Legends
Tabletennis World Champion Werner Schlager will also play in the exhibition match together with three other Austrian Racket Legends Jürgen Koch (Badminton 30 x Austrian Champion), Clemens Wallishauser (Squash, the real No. 1 in Austria) and a surprise Tennis star. They will challenge a World Racketlon Team powered by UNDER ARMOUR and picked by current world number one Christoph Krenn. “The official presentation of the team will be at a press conference on Tuesday 22rd November 10:00 a.m., but I will make sure the best world class Racketlon players in each respective sport will meet the stars”, says Krenn who is sure they can be challenged. The battle will be the first of four live streamed matches during the World Champs on www.laola1.tv:
Live video stream on www.laola1.tv
Sat. 26. Nov, 19:00 Austrian Racketsports Legends vs. World Racketlon Team powered by UNDER ARMOUR
Sat. 26. Nov, 21:00 u21 Juniors Final
Sun. 27. Nov, 14:00 Women Elite Final
Sun. 27. Nov, 16:00 Men Elite Final
Offsite courts and Players Party
Over 400 entries also provide logistical problems and for that reason there will be absolutely no practice courts available on Thursday except one Squash court and two Table Tennis courts on site. In addition two Squash courts and one Tabletennis Table are available directly in the Tournament Trend Hotel Pyramide free of cost. On the rest of the weekend the practice court situation is better. Two Tabletennis, two Squash and two Badminton courts will be nearly permanently available. There are NO TENNIS courts to practice on at any time. In addition the draws Women B and Seniors +55 are played offsite in C&C Club Budocenter on Friday except the semifinals and finals. Shuttle service will be provided. The big Players Party will be held in Club Royale directly at the Tournament Trend Hotel Pyramide on Saturday from 23:00.