A Scottish World Champion? - Part II
English table tennis specialist and racketlon enthusiast Keith Lesser reports from the 2004 Scottish Open below - the biggest Scottish racketlon event so-far.
Note that the opinions expressed in this this article are
the author's personal and not necessarily in line with the
official IRF policy. Specifically, it is at present not an IRF
requirement that an event organiser must provide feather
shuttlecocks for all classes. Neither is the organiser required
to strictly follow the world ranking when deciding on the
Full results from the tournament can be found on the tournament webpage.
For "A Scottish World Champion? - Part I" see report from British Open in April,
where McFadyen put some of her potential on first display.
The Scottish Open has grown in popularity and from 45 participants in 2003, 70 competitors took part in 2004. Chief organiser Phil Reid gave a cracking performance, alongside Racketlon superstar Katy Buchanan and the Next Generation Racketlon Manager who lovingly became known to the budding crowd as "Bob". Phil's relationship with Ian Woodcraft must be commended and this clearly contributed to the supreme success of the tournament. Accommodation adjacent to the centre was another great asset.
The Scottish Open began around a swamp of controversy. As an evolving sport there are still some aspects of Racketlon that need to be addressed. Feather shuttles should be used in all badminton matches. World rankings must be employed in devising seeding systems and finally in what circumstance can a competitor take part in more than one event. Hopefully, in the future such conflict before a competition can be avoided as this detracts from the competitors overall Racketlon experience.
On Friday 6th August an excellent exhibition took place at the Bridge of Allan Rackets club in Stirling. World Champion Magnus Eliasson took on Bridge of Allens best in three quarters of a Racketlon match, with the badminton being sacrificed because of time constraints. In a supreme challenge Steve Patterson defeated King Magno 21-16 at TT, Peter Campbell (the eventual class 1 runner-up) lost SQ 21-14 and British number 2 Rackathlete Callum Reid was swept aside in the tennis set 21-12. Magnus 1-0 Bridge of Allan. Katy Buchanan put a tremendous amount of effort in organising such a great event where 50 people watched this sensational spectacle. The crowd was fairly knowledgeable and included such celebrities as Joachim Nilsson and the Austrian party of Weigl, Dickert and Wertl. Many Scottish competitors made the trip across to sunny Stirling, making a very special event.
Racketlon's growth can be seen by an application to the English dictionary for a new adjective -"Magnostic". Ricky Persson describes Eliasson as "in a league of his own". The final between the 2 Swedes was fought to the death. Magnus played to the top of his game to force 14 points in table tennis. Arguably the Iron Man's weakest sport he positioned himself well to attack strongly using powerful forehand topspin loops. The match however was seemingly over after a tiresome squash set. Persson contested gruelling squash sets in both his semi-final with John O Donnell and in the final with the "Magnostic" element. Ricky is a strong squash player, he was beaten to 2. His badminton, also impressive was not either successful losing to 21-12. Rickard's total of 12 included a fantastic spinning backhand played from behind the body. Hard to truly describe the shot was met with huge roars from the crowd and with a stunning handshake from Eliasson. However, the match was over and the world champion was again dominant. Magnus only lost one set all weekend, the final table tennis encounter.
Rick is looking a more assured athlete and confidently swept aside John ODonnell. The table tennis set was crucial and Ricks stronger tennis was the pivotal factor. Callum Reid again impressed with a solid victory over Belgium star Gert Peersman. The Scot played well winning badminton and tennis by a larger margin than Gerts table tennis and squash victories. Peersman however remained upbeat and looks forward to meeting with some new training partners in his work related visits to London. Reids following gummiarm loss to Weigl shows the closeness of the 2 mens abilities. Weigl edged the contest with squash and badminton victories, however the main man from Austria must aim to improve his table tennis to rank amongst the worlds top ten. Weigls pre-tennis defeat v strong squash ex-professional ODonnell in the 3rd place play off illustrates this further. Håkan Granberg received an unlucky draw as ODonnells profile is not ideal for the travelling Swede. However, Håkan must be commended for an impressive opening victory over Michael Dickert. Another Gothenburg player, Stefan Engström, equally so, met Eliasson and failed in this case to make a dent in the iron mans armoury. But Engström outlined his credentials with a strong victory over improving Calum Munro. Munro won the Elite plate, with a closely fought tartan victory over Thomson, the badminton was nice to watch, both showing great touch.
Sarah McFadyen, Scotland
Sarah McFadyen is the 2004 Scottish Open champion. Sarah showed undoubted prowess in all disciplines and impressively took the scalp of world champion Lilian Druve. Sarahs tisch tennis improvement has been exponential and she even showed snippets into years to come with one or two faded "off" forehand topspins - a very hard shot to execute. Giving away years of tactical experience a 19-21 deficit was a dream start to the final and, after the squash and badminton sets, the final result was not in doubt. After a tough badminton set, the young Scot was strong obliterating Druve in the final tennis set 21-4. Pernille Thomson, also impressed in her second tour event reaching the semi final stage and eventually finishing 4th succumbing to Buchanan in the play off for 3rd place. "P" showed solid squash, badminton and tennis and can look to the future for table tennis improvement. However, it must be noted she had the momentous task of entertaining the Austrian party for the weekend and this strain could be seen by Sunday evening by which point any human being would have been exacerbated.
Men's Class 1
Mcfadyen also competed in the Men's Class 1 event and upset the field with victories over plate winner Andy Hill, a talented young tennis specialist and also over English dynamo Stu Foster. Peter Campbells route to the final included a Gummiarm victory over frightening English challenger Ray Jordan. Ray had a dream start 21-0 showing great patience and skill in some lengthy rallies. Obtaining 7 points in squash against the former Scottish junior squash champion is nothing short of remarkable. Closely fought tennis and badminton sets saw Campbell emerge as the marginal victor. After defeating Sarah in the semis, Peter lost in the final to Swedish star Michael Mattsson. Mattssons first Class 1 victory was impressive showing solid table tennis and badminton, any profile expert could tell Michael was the clear favourite. The day was tipped off with Jordan challenging Mattsson to a game of blind chess (played in the mind with no board!).
Phil Reid pulled out "injured" after too many beers the night before. The other main story in the event was Norman McGlinchey being scratched from the tournament for arriving 2 hours late for his second round match. This was a shame as the squash and tennis coach was a clear contender for the event after knocking out non-seeded Keith Lesser in the first round. Hill eventually defeated Lesser in the plate final, however the top half was weakened as McGlinchey would have surely tested Phil Reid for a semi-final spot against Mattsson.
Richard and Tom Whitehouse proved strong amateur and veteran champions. However, improving Andy Petersson and marathon runner Richard Hall also caught the eye.
Furthermore I must thank everyone involved in the tournament and for their great hospitality including the drunken Scot who delivered a delicious black eye to me on Saturday evening.
Full results from the Scottish Open is published on the tournament homepage. See below for some highlights:
Magnus Eliasson (Swe) bt Stefan Engstrom (Swe)
21-16, 21-4, 21-8, -
Marcel Weigl (Aut) bt Calum Reid (Sco)
+1 Gummiarm Rule (Calum Served)
John O'Donnell (Eng) bt Hakan Granberg (Swe)
21-13, 21-6, 21-10, -
Rickard Persson (Swe) bt Owen Hadden (Sco)
21-6, 21-17, 21-11, -
Magnus Eliasson bt Marcel Weigl
+30: 21-10, 21-9, 21-14, -
Rickard Persson bt John O'Donnell
+16: 21-5, 8-21, 20-22, 21-6
Eliasson bt Persson
+22: 15-21, 21-2, 21-12, -
O'Donnell bt Weigl
+25: 21-10, 21-5, 20-22, -
Lilian Druve (Swe) bt Chris Randerson (Sco)
21-4, 20-22, 21-3, 21-6
Pernille Thomson (Sco) bt Jayne MacFarlane (Sco)
21-11, 21-6, 21-18, 21-13
Sarah McFadyen (Sco) bt Jennifer McArtney (Sco)
21-9, 21-16, 21-5, 21-4
Katy Buchanan (Sco) bt Julia Horsburgh (Sco)
21-5, 21-14, 21-6, 21-15
Lilian Druve bt Pernille Thomson
+33: 21-6, 7-21, 21-4, 21-6
Sarah McFadyen bt Katy Buchanan
+18: 12-21, 21-19, 21-11, 21-6
McFadyen bt Druve
+13: 19-21, 21-10, 8-21, 21-4
Buchanan bt Thomson
+25: 21-10, 21-19, 21-9, -
Mens Class 1
Michael Mattsson bt Phil Reid
Peter Campbell bt Sarah McFadyen
+4: 21-11, 21-4, 14-21, 5-21
Mattsson bt Campbell
+8: 21-7, 3-21, 21-10, 15-14
Lilian Druve bt Richard Hall
+17: 21-6, 7-21, 21-8, 21-18
Tom Whitehouse bt Oli Harris
+11: 15-21, 11-21, 21-0, 21-15
Whitehouse bt Druve
+20: 8-21, 21-10, 21-12, 21-8
Richard Whitehouse bt Nick Randerson
+33: 21-13, 21-11, 21-2, 17-21
Andy Peterson bt Stewart Milne
+4: 21-5, 21-7, 8-21, 8-21
Whitehouse bt Peterson
+29: 1-21, 21-6, 21-4, 21-4