Lautala-Näykki and Kärkkäinen
Tournament Director Martti Vottonen reports from the
Finnish National Championships below.
Kärkkäinen, Finnish Champion
Mikko Kärkkäinen beat Toni Kemppinen in the Men's final. It was a battle between two good friends. But as Kärkkäinen started out by winning the table tennis by 21-2 it was clear quite early that Kemppinen would have a hard time to put up a real fight. The standard of both the squash and badminton was on a very high level and in squash Kärkkäinen confirmed what was fairly obvious already in Vienna; his game is improving at an impressive rate! He lost by the closest possible margin to one of Finland's best squash players, 19-21, which was a big surprise to most predictors. Kemppinen came back to play a marvellous badminton winning 21-14 but with the same figures (21-14) in tennis - but with Kärkkäinen coming out the winner - the result was fixed at a safe +17 (21-2, 19-21, 14-21, 21-14). The Bronze medal went to table tennis specialist Ari-Matti Koskinen from Lahti.
In the Ladies' class World No.5 Susanna Lautala-Näykki took the title beating runner-up Katja Turtianen by 16 points in the final.
In the 45+ Veteran's class, former twice Veteran World Champion, Harri Peltola, was in a class of his own. In none of his matches was the margin of victory less than 20 points. (Internationally, however, Peltola has recently been forced to face some fierce competition and has moved from 1 to 9 on the World ranking during a period of a little more than a year.)
The competition was played with the shorter serve games to two that is presently being discussed within the IRF. The players seemed very satisfied with this new format.
For the full results from the Finnish Championships see excel document.