Welcome to the Home of International Racketlon!

Tournament Management under the lead of Tournament General Håkan Granberg wish to welcome all participants to the 6th Gothenburg Racketlon Open and the tournament that launched racketlon internationally with three world championships 2001-2003.

This year's tournament has proven to be the most popular yet (with the possible exception of the 2003 World Championships) in terms of the number of entries registered and we regret that we have not been able to admit everyone. 118 entries from 8 different countries (see the full entry list on the Racketlon.com Entry Engine ) have been admitted and the tournament will start at noon on Friday. Racketletes from Austria, England, Finland, France, Germany Hungary, Scotland and, of course, Sweden are getting ready. Full draws can be found here.

New this year is a Junior class, a Mixed Doubles and a Men's Doubles classes.

Watch out for good badminton!

The ladies' class is exceptionally strong this year with all top 3 on the Racketlon World Ranking present;

Number 1, and recent World Champion, Linda Jansson from Stockholm, one of the best tennis players on the tour - irrespective of sex(!) - who became the World No.1 only about a year(!) after she played her first tour event (in Prague 2005, see report ).

Advantage Linda Jansson, the World Champion.
photo: www.racketlon.be

Number 2, emphatically improving Susanna Lautala-Näykki from Finland (who won her first tour title at the Scottish Open last September after beating Scotland's Katy Buchanan +4 (tt:21-14 ba:21-14 sq:10-21 te:19-12). One month earlier, in German Open, the same two players met in the German Open final with Buchanan coming out on top; Lautala-Näykki-Buchanan -14 (tt:11-21 ba:21-11, sq:8-21 te:8-9). Note the big difference in table tennis; 11-21 in Weiterstadt became 21-14 in Edinburgh. That's 17 points!

Number 3, Lilian Druve from Gothenburg, until recently the queen of racketlon with three world championships 2002, 2003 and 2005. This will be Druve's first appearance on the tour since the World Championships in June earlier this year, where she, seemingly absentmindedly, lost at the group stage already.

Good standard! And that is not enough. In the ladies' draw there are, in fact, also other names that deserve to be mentioned with at least equal the amount of respect;

Sara Persson is the current Swedish badminton champion and No.1 on the Swedish badminton ranking. She will make her second appearance in a racketlon context after her debut at the Swedish Championships in Stockholm in May this year.

Johanna and Sara Persson. photo: Elisabeth Alvenby

Johanna Persson, Sara's older sister, is also a very prominent badminton player and, in fact, even the more successful of the two. She is nothing less than Sweden's internationally most successful badminton player during recent years. In spring this year she achieved a bronze medal at the European Champs (in Ladies' Doubles) and at the Olympics in Athens she reached the quarter finals in Mixed Doubles - a deed that she repeated at the World Championships in Anaheim last year. Johanna specialises in doubles, where she feels that her speed, explosiveness and forward-moving playing style pays off the best. She will join the Gothenburg Open straight after the IBF World Cup in China that was decided last weekend and it will be her first appearance in a racketlon context. She has also entered the Mixed Doubles class together with another Gothenburg player, Kristian Karttunen (more about him below).

Johanna Persson. Olympic quarterfinalist. Doubles specialist.
Facing badminton specialist Lilian Druve in the first round.
photo: Stefan Berg

Consider that Druve is one of the best badminton players on the racketlon tour and add the Gothenburg badminton specialists Anneli Andersson and Ulrika Björck and the conclusion must be that this should be the best badminton ever seen in a racketlon draw. Druve will face Johanna Persson in the first round.

Men's Elite

The Men's Elite draw is also looking quite strong with names like Calum Reid (SCOT, WR3), Stefan Adamsson (SWE, WR4), Marcel Weigl (AUT, WR5) and Rickard Persson (SWE, WR12). Reid will be looking to recover some of his winning carisma from the German and Scottish Opens earlier this autumn after his humbling defeat in the recent English Open final against Eliasson in Birmingham; Magnus Eliasson (SWE) - Calum Reid (SCOT) +25 (tt:18-21 ba:21-11 sq:21-3 te:- ). He is seeded to play Stefan Adamsson in the final, which should be a proper challenge, given the result from the bronze match at the Worlds; Stefan Adamsson (SWE) - Calum Reid (SCOT) +28 (tt:21-11 ba:21-13 sq:21-11 te:- ) However, it should also be noted that Reid beat Adamsson in the English Open final last year.

Among the other players in the Men's Elite the following may be noted:

Robert Nilsson (Gothenburg) is a quarter finalist from this year's Swedish table tennis championships (won by Jan-Ove Waldner, recognised by many as the best table tennis player the world ever saw; known in China as "the ever-green tree" he has now celebrated his 40th birthday).

Jan-Ove Waldner. A future participant at the Gothenburg Racketlon Open?

Staffan Kanen (Gothenburg), formerly Ericsson, is a bronze medalist from the 2002 Racketlon World Championships (see results), who rarely competes on the international racketlon tour.

Kristian Karttunen is the current Gothenburg Racketlon Champion (after beating Kanen in the final by +6 (10-15, 15-2, 15-8, 1-10). He is also a fairly recent Swedish badminton champion in the U22 class, who is now competing internationally. He has never before taken part in an international racketlon event and is regarded by some as the biggest local Gothenburg hope in the tournament (in the Men's Elite class that is; not forgetting Lilian Druve in the Ladies' Elite and Ulf Bredberg in the Veterans'.

Challenging the World No.1!

Just like the Ladies' Class the Veterans' Class has attracted the World No.1; Ulf Bredberg, who has been looking almost unbeatable recently with two straight wins in the monthly local Gothenburg "Top X" Elite class.

And the veterans' class will attract special interest this year due to another player still quite unknown on the international racketlon scene - but not for long now! With six(!) Swedish racketlon championship titles he is probably best described as "the Magnus Eliasson of the Nineties". He (probably) only took part in one tour event before - the 2001 Gothenburg Racketlon World Open - where he lost in the quarter final to Finnish runner-up Toni Kemppinen by -4 only; (tt:21-5 sq:8-21 ba:4-21 te:21-11) (see full results). (While Eliasson encountered a similair fate; loss against the other Finnish finalist, the unknown and unseeded Mikko Kärkkäinen, who was at that time regarded as the poorer racketlete of the two Finns since he had lost to Kemppinen in the Finnish Championships earlier the same year.) Now he has just turned 45 and became the Swedish Veteran Champion in May in superior style.

His name is Peter Bittár. And the obvious question is; Will the World No.1 have a chance?

Let the games begin!


P.S. We are aiming to provide complete results from the tournament on the tournament homepage on a daily basis. There will, of course, also be the Breaking News Text Results report on Sunday 18:00 at the latest, as required by the FIR. Stay tuned.

Next generation racketletes Hugo Hellman and Isak Johansson. Two local Gothenburg participants in the first Junior Class ever to take place in Gothenburg.
Photo: www.racketlon.be