Top 10 Players of All Times

It is today exactly 5 years since the first Men's Racketlon World Ranking was published (the first Ladies' ranking came out a few months later) which is cause for a bit of statistical celebration.

The first list, manually compiled and dated 2002-07-22 contained players from Finland and Sweden exclusively. It looked as follows:

1. Mikko Kärkkäinen (FIN)
2. Magnus Eliasson (SWE)
3. Roland Helle (SWE)
4. Toni Kemppinen (FIN)
5. Ari-Matti Koskinen (FIN)
6. Mats Källberg (SWE)
7. Stefan Larsson (SWE)
8. Harri Suutarinen (FIN)
9. Daniel Brodén (SWE)
10. Mika Hasmats (SWE)

For comparison, here is the current list (based on results through 14 June 2007):

1. Magnus Eliasson Sweden
2. Calum Reid Scotland
3. Marcel Weigl Austria
4. John O'Donnell England
5. Michael Dickert Austria
6. Christoph Krenn Austria
7. Elmar Schaub Germany
8. Mikko Kärkkäinen Finland
9. Alexander Köpf Germany
10. Johan Porsborn Sweden

The most striking difference is arguably that the Swedes and Finns have been joined by players from other countries. The first non-Scandinavian player to achieve this break-in was French(!); Nicolas Sene was no.10 on the list of October 2002 (see newsitem ). And the second was English; John O'Donnell in September 2003. Since then another eight non-Scandinavians have followed and, as seen above, at present players from Scotland, Austria, England and Germany are fighting with the Scandinavians for the top positions.

Somewhat contradictingly, another striking thing is the stability; the two top players on the first list - Kärkkäinen and Eliasson - are still, after five very dynamic Racketlon years(!), considered the best. (Although Kärkkäinen has now slipped down on the ranking due to little travelling on the tour no one can deny that he has won the last two world championships). And, arguably, some of the players on the first list like Helle (recent winner of the Swedish Championships and the 2004 World Champs runner-up), Kemppinen (one of very few players ever to have beaten Kärkkäinen) and Källberg (beat Eliasson in the Swedish Champs last month) still have the potential to rejoin the Top 10 with a bit more travelling on the Tour.

Here is a chronological account of Top 10 players on the Men's World Ranking (dates indicate first appearance):

1. Mikko Kärkkäinen (FIN) 22/7-2002
2. Magnus Eliasson (SWE) 22/7-2002
3. Roland Helle (SWE) 22/7-2002
4. Toni Kemppinen (FIN) 22/7-2002
5. Ari-Matti Koskinen (FIN) 22/7-2002
6. Mats Källberg (SWE) 22/7-2002
7. Stefan Larsson (SWE) 22/7-2002
8. Harri Suutarinen (FIN) 22/7-2002
9. Daniel Brodén (SWE) 22/7-2002
10. Mika Hasmats (SWE) 22/7-2002
11. Stefan Adamsson (SWE) 15/10-2002
12. Nicolas Sene (FRA) 15/10-2002
13. Staffan Ericsson (SWE) 13/11-2002
14. Ola Carleke (SWE) 13/11-2002
15. Rickard Persson (SWE) 13/4-2003
16. John O'Donnell (ENG) 21/9-2003
17. Henrik Håkansson (SWE) 6/6-2004
18. Marcel Weigl (AUT) 8/8-2004
19. Calum Reid (SCO) 29/8-2004
20. Douglas Struthers (ENG) 10/10-2004
21. Mathias Fagerström (SWE) 4/9-2005
22. Michael Dickert (AUT) 25/9-2005
23. Richard Thomson (CAN) 27/11-2005
24. Christoph Krenn (AUT) 12/2-2006
25. Elmar Schaub (GER) 27/8-2006
26. Christian Wall (SWE) 5/11-2006
27. Alexander Köpf (GER) 1/7-2007
28. Johan Porsborn (SWE) 1/7-2007

Number of Top 10 players per country:

Sweden: 14
Finland: 4
Austria: 3
England and Germany: 2
France, Canada and Scotland: 1