A New Queen!
An emphatic throne shift seemed to take place on the ladies' side as the fourth Gothenburg Racketlon Open ended on Sunday. After her clear victory in the final Scotland's Sarah McFadyen moved up to postion number 1 on the World Ranking thereby replacing runner-up Lilian Druve (Sweden), who has dominated the sport almost completely over the last couple of years.
The President of the newly founded Gothenburg Racketlon
Club Niclas Larsson reports below from a tournament that
attracted almost 100 players from 8 different countries.
The fourth major Racketlon Tournament in Gothenburg is now
over. All these World Racketlon Tour Tournaments definitely have
their own charms. There are indeed many memorable moments from
this event. The ones we will focus on in this short report are:
- A New World No 1
- Two Exhausted Winners
- Outstanding Tennis in Veterans Final
McFadyen: New World Number 1 (Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
A New World No 1
Lilan Druve, Gothenburg, Sweden, is an admirable racketlon-character. She is 41 years old, and she is still going strong. However, in this tournament her smooth racketlonskills did not help her all the way. For the second time this year she got beaten by the younger, strong tennis-champion and racketlon-star, Sarah McFayden, Scotland. The audience lined up to see Druve get a good start in the first sport, table-tennis, taking the lead by many points. However, McFayden somehow showed more determination and came back strongly at the end, only loosing by a few balls; McFadyen-Druve: 15-21.
Druve, off to a good start in table tennis (Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
The game was still quite open before the squash, but the Scottish girl proved her strength in this sport and won very easily; 21-3. In the third sport one could perhaps see that former national badminton player, Druve, was giving up. On the other hand, Sarah played very well here too. Her badminton backhandshots were very unpredictable and effective. Druve won the game, of course, but not by as many points (21-12), as she must have hoped for. The game was, more or less, over after the badminton, considering Sarah is a top class tennis specialist with even a fresh title from the latest Scottish indoor championships. Interestingly, however, Druve got off to a very good start in tennis winning a few points, but it was not going to be enough. McFayden proved to be far too strong, won the tennis 21-6 and is now undisputedly the World No 1. But we Gothenburg people tend to think that Lilian will come back, as she says herself in Gothenburgs biggest Newspaper (GP); I am going to Vienna to win my third World-championships
"Going to Vienna to win my third straight World Championship"
(Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
Two Exhausted Winners
It was clear from start that the Men's Open event would be an unusually open affair with all top 3 of the World Ranking (Mr Eliasson, Mr Kärkkäinen and Mr Adamsson) missing. With most of the other on the top 10 list present in Gothenburg this created an extra excitement. Who would win it? What would the final be like?
And indeed the event turned out to be very entertaining and thrilling. By the help of strong and positive supporters, the Swedish squash-king, Roland Helle (seeded 3-4), took himself all the way to the final. One cannot stop oneself from admiring Helles calmness. He always seems to be one step ahead of his opponent. None of Helles opponents before the final really made him worried. He was just far too good and positively confident. There were, however, a few other really tight matches and interesting comments on Helles side of the draw. The bronze-medallist Rickard Persson, tennis and table-tennis-specialist, defined racketlon quite accurately when he answered why he could win so many points in badminton against badmintonplayer Mathias Fagerström and loose so many in tennis and table-tennis. It is Racketlon we are playing. Johan Nordstrand arguably also made Calum Reid see this fact, when he surprisingly defeated him and got to the quarterfinal. Nordstrand and also Christian Wall, who won the Elite Plate, are now climbing the World Ranking quite rapidly.
Tt specialist Källberg facing Helle at the start of the Gothenburg Open Men's final (Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
The other side of the draw had even more tight games. Table-tennis specialist and strong badmintonplayer, Mats Källberg (seeded 3-4), had to fight a bit more than Helle to reach his final. But after a surprisingly tight semi-final against England's John O'Donnell (+7) he was ready to face Helle. A lot of people were gathered to see the final. The table-tennis ended up like all Källberg's table-tennis-games, with a big victory for him (21-6). The squash result was as expected quite the opposite (2-21).
21-2 in squash (Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
It was the third game that really captured the attention of the audience. It was a very good game. Helle wasn't one step ahead anymore, neither was Källberg. They were both fighting like maniacs. It seemed like none of them would give up. At the end Helle miraculously won the game, 21-18. From spectators point of view it seemed like they were both winners and both totally exhausted. They both fell down to the ground.
An exhausting badminton game (Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
The final tennis game was not as tight as the badminton but still exciting to watch. Both are quite stable tennis players, and do not miss many points. Helle showed to be the strongest of them and when the match looked almost decided Källberg had to give up abruptly due to injury. Pity. But I do think some of us in the audience try to forget the sad ending and instead remember the tough badminton game where they were both two exhausted winners.
Källberg. The taste of Racketlon (Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
Helle. Determined for victory (Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
Outstanding Tennis in Veterans Final
In the Veterans Final two Gothenburg Swedes faced each other; Olle Benéus and Ulf Bredberg. They are both very all-round players, and they both knew it was going to be a tough game. It was very close before tennis. After Bredberg-Benéus 21-17, 15-21, 21-18 in the first three sports Bredberg was in the lead but only with one single point. Before the tennis Benéus said: I have got a good chance, I know I can take him. After having lost 5-21 in the tennis Benéus shortly but kindly and truthfully said: I have never seen any racketlon player play so good tennis before. Apparently Bredberg was outstanding. We hope to see more of these two veterans in the upcoming World Championships. It will be interesting indeed. And it will also be interesting to see what Mr Helle can do against Kärkkäinen and Eliasson.
Veteran Champ (and newcomer) Bredberg
wiping off some sweat during the early rounds
(Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
Finally, I would like to thank all those people who have helped out at the Gothenburg Racketlon Open. Great job!
The Author, Niclas Larsson (Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
(a participant in the Men's Open class and World ranked number 30)
Full results from the
tournament are available in this results excel sheet. Below follows a summary:
Rickard Persson (Swe) - Mathias Fagerström (Swe) +4 (tt:21-14, sq:22-20, ba:10-21, te:21-15)
Roland Helle (Swe) - Johan Nordstrand (Swe) +35 (21-12, 21-4, 21-12, -)
Mats Källberg (Swe) - Marcel Weigl (Aut) +23 (21-6, 21-15, 21-19, -)
John O'Donnell (Eng) - Holger Stamm (Ger) +6 (15-21, 21-14, 21-13, 13-16)
Roland Helle (Swe) - Rickard Persson (Swe) +18 (12-21, 21-10, 21-5, - (retired))
Mats Källberg (Swe) - John O'Donnell (Eng) +7 (21-7, 3-21, 21-12, 17-15)
Match for 3rd prize:
Rickard Persson (Swe) - John O'Donnell (Eng) +7 (21-13, 5-21, 21-19, 21-8)
Roland Helle (Swe) - Mats Källberg (Swe) +8 (6-21, 21-2, 21-18, 11-10 (retired))
Helle, Källberg, Persson (Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
Lilian Druve (Swe) - Iréne Seifert (Ger) +17 (10-21, 21-12, 21-5, 8-5)
Sarah McFadyen (Scot) - Sunniva Aminoff (Swe) +3 (21-9, 21-3, 7-21, 21-7)
Match for 3rd prize:
Iréne Seifert (Ger) - Sunniva Aminoff (Swe) +3 (21-5, 21-10, 2-21, 16-21)
Sarah McFadyen (Scot) - Lilian Druve (Swe) +18 (15-21, 21-3, 12-21, 21-6)
From the left: Aminoff, Druve, McFadyen, Seifert (Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )
MEN'S VETERAN 45+
Olle Benéus (Swe) - Janne Elmhag (Swe) +10 (19-21, 21-6, 14-21, 21-17)
Björn Hagelqvist (Swe) - Hubert Fromlet (Swe) +55 (21-6, 21-7, 21-8, 21-8)
Ulf Bredberg (Swe) - Lasse Winnberg (Swe) +34 (21-6, 21-13, 15-21, 21-4)
Lennart Eklundh (Swe) - Anders Persson (Swe) +43 (21-2, 21-1, 11-21, 21-7)
Olle Benéus (Swe) - Björn Hagelqvist (Swe) +24 (12-21, 21-5, 21-4, -)
Ulf Bredberg (Swe) - Lennart Eklundh (Swe) +26 (21-5, 11-21, 21-1, -)
Match for 3rd prize:
Lennart Eklundh (Swe) - Björn Hagelqvist (Swe) +9 (13-21, 21-8, 21-19, 15-13)
Ulf Bredberg (Swe) - Olle Benéus (Swe) +17 (21-17, 15-21, 21-18, 21-5)
Full results available at the tournament homepage.
Sarah McFadyen, World No. 1 (Photo: www.digitalfoto.nu )