The Tour has Started.

The 2006 Swedish Open - bigger than ever before - is over. But the fourth consecutive IRF Racketlon World Tour has only started. Next stop Hungary.

170 racketlon players came together this weekend to play Swedish Open 2006. It´s nice to see so many competitors in all classes. Compared to only a few years ago men´s junior, men´s veterans and ladies open has grown a lot in terms of number of players.

The charismatic IRF president Marcel Weigl said at the price ceremony that Swedish Open was very well organised with a great crew that helped to run the tournament. He felt that Swedish Open is one of the best tournaments on the tour and hoped that it will set the standard for the rest of the tournaments.

The people behind Enskede Rackethall. Swedish Open tournament director Lennart Eklundh at the top right. Andreas Källman, winner of the Men's Class B (and the son of Lennart) at the bottom right.

Lennart Eklundh, always enthusiastic and positive, did a great job with help from his staff. The tournament ran smoothly with everything from shuttles and travel plans to the matches. Also a very nice and tasty buffet on Saturday evening on Enskede Värdshus with around 40 hungry racketlon nerds getting their stomachs more than full. Some of them wasn´t ready to sleep yet, so they continued and danced away some calories all night long at the party boat Patricia...

In men's veterans the racketlon inventor Peter Landberg sliced his way to a convincing victory. The final was his closest match but he nevertheless beat badminton doubles specialist David Greatorex (England) by as much as 15 points. David Greatorex, the racketlon globetrotter, had a close encounter in the semis with Kevin Lawlor (Scotland) winning by a narrow margin of 3 points. Gunnar Nilsson won the third price match against Lawlor.

Alexander Ebata won the juniors in a very close final beating his Västerås friend Joakim Hellgren. Maybe Västerås is growing strong with these two juniors and the established A class player Christian Wall. Joakim Hellgrens father Claes, former legend in handball, is also a strong player in the veterans class. Is Joakim the best golf player in racketlon with a handicap close to scratch?

The seeds in the womens class went through as expected. One interesting badminton result from the quarterfinals was Lilian Druve's close victory against Anna Lundin (22-20). Anna has almost not touched a badminton racket in recent years. The closest match in the quarterfinals was Susanna Lautala-Näykki (Finland) against Irene Seifert (Germany). The germans had their hopes up when Irene went into the tennis with a five-point lead. But Susanna won with a solid tennis game of 21-9! In the first semifinal Lilian Druve beat Linda Jansson by 26 points. They didn´t reach the tennis to Lilians relief since Linda is maybe the strongest tennis player on the tour. In the second semifinal Silke Altmann beat Susanna by four points. The tennis looked decided at 9-4 to Silke but then we once again witnessed the unpredictability of racketlon. A few minutes and 12 straight points(!) later the score was 9-16 and the match was alive. Silke only needed two more points and got her nerves back together and clinched the final point at 11-18. In the final between world no. 1 and 2, Silke got off to a good start beating Lilian by 21-10 in tabletennis. Lilian then bounced back with an impressive 21-7 in badminton. In the squash Lilian turned into an octopus and reached for everything with the final score of 21-18! Going into the tennis Lilian needed 16 points. After a well played tennis battle Lilian once more secured a title at the score 16-11. In the match for third prize Linda came back from a 15-point deficit against Susanna to win squash 21-12 and tennis with a crushing 21-3!

Irene Seifert, Germany, serving. Approaching the top.
(Photo: )

In men's class A all the seeds went through to the quarters as expected. Many interesting early round matches can be mentioned. Belgium's Steven Verbrüggen's 21-14, 21-14 in tabletennis and badminton against Eliasson or Mika Hasmats' 21-16, 21-17 against Calum Reid. Anders Rickan took a surprising lead after 21-12 in the tabletennis against Stefan Adamsson. None of the above managed to win but they gave the matches an extra nerve until the end. The quarterfinals all went according to plan with one pretty close match between Stefan Adamsson and Mathias Fagerström. The match was all square before the tennis after a heroic fight in the squash from Mathias. At the interval he looked totally exhausted but still managed to run like Forrest Gump.

Eliasson. Winner again. (Photo: )

In the semis Roland Helle pushed Magnus long into the tennis after a strong tabletennis performance and a very well played badminton but still Magnus, the Iron Man, forced his way through to the final. The other semifinal saw Stefan getting his revenge on Scottish hope Calum Reid after the key result 21-7 in the squash. The final started with 21-16 in the tabletennis for Stefan. At 15-6 the score looked to run out of Magnus' reach but he pulled himself together with some forehand rockets from outer space. Then Stefan won a really close badminton fight with 22-20. The squash turned out to be the deciding event with Magnus terminating Stefan by 21-11. But with a mere 3-point advantage for Magnus going into the tennis there was still some hope for Stefan. Magnus found the right cryptonite for Super Man Stefan, however, and the match was over at 19-17 in the tennis. In the match for 3:rd place the youngster Calum Reid beat Roland Helle after a close match. Two points was the final winning margin after a convincing 21-10 tennis victory.

Adamsson. Former World no. 1. And still young. (Photo: )

Class B saw a surprise winner in Andreas Källman. He wasn’t in the draw from the start but a late withdrawal gave him a place in the tournament. Andreas, who is the son of the tournament organiser Lennart, proved that he is a contender for the A class. As one of the employees of the rackethall he probably, together with his father, knows the courts better than anyone else. In one of the semifinals Jukka Salminen from Finland beat the Swedish tennis oracle Johan Porsborn by an exciting “gummi-arm” point. The things Johan doesn’t know about tennis doesn’t exist…

In the C class the semifinals were all Swedish and the final winner was Henrik Borg after a close and well-played final with a winning margin of 2 points over Örjan Lundberg.

After this great start of the racketlon tour 2006 we now look forward to the next tournament in Hungary.

See you there! (See for how to enter!)

/SA + /MH


Swedish Open Results in Summary:
(For complete results in all classes please visit the Swedish Open tournament homepage )

Men A

Magnus Eliasson, SWE – Marcel Weigl, AUT +25 (21-11,21-18,21-9)
Roland Helle, SWE - Rickard Persson, SWE +22 (22-20,21-9,21-13)
Calum Reid, SCO - Christoph Krenn, AUT +35 (21-8,21-9,21-11)
Stefan Adamsson, SWE - Mathias Fagerström, SWE +8 (21-14,7-21,21-14,21-13)

Magnus Eliasson, SWE - Roland Helle, SWE +6 (12-21,21-18,21-9)
Stefan Adamsson, SWE - Calum Reid, SCO +11 (18-21,21-17,21-7,7-11)

Calum Reid, SCO - Roland Helle, SWE +2 (21-14,14-21,12-21,21-10)

Magnus Eliasson, SWE - Stefan Adamsson, SWE +6 (16-21,20-22,21-11,19-17)


Lilian Druve, SWE - Anna Lundin, SWE +37 (21-8,22-20,21-9,21-11)
Linda Jansson, SWE - Kati Kraavling, EST +19 (21-9,5-21,21-13,21-6)
Susanna Lautala-Näykki, FIN - Irene Seifert, GER +7 (7-21,21-10,19-21,21-9)
Silke Altmann, GER – Natalie Lawrence, ENG +20 (21-7,21-6,9-21,8-5)

Lilian Druve, SWE – Linda Jansson, SWE +26 (21-12,21-6,22-20)
Silke Altmann, GER - Susanna Lautala-Näykki, FIN +4 (21-13,16-21,21-13,11-18)

Linda Jansson, SWE - Susanna Lautala-Näykki, FIN +12 (13-21,14-21,21-12,21-3)

Lilian Druve, SWE - Silke Altmann, GER +11 (10-21,21-7,21-18,16-11)

Men Veterans +45

David Greatorex, ENG - Erik Spangenberg, SWE +48 (21-6,21-3,21-6)
Kevin Lawlor, SCO - Robert Andersson, SWE +43 (21-10,21-6,21-4)
Gunnar Nilsson, SWE - Claes Hellgren, SWE +2 (21-13,21-8,7-21,16-21)
Peter Landberg, SWE - John Remmer, SWE +38 (21-14,21-3,21-6,19-21)

David Greatorex, ENG - Kevin Lawlor, SCO +3 (21-14,21-10,6-21,19-19)
Peter Landberg, SWE - Gunnar Nilsson, SWE +22 (21-17,6-21,21-1,21-8)

Gunnar Nilsson, SWE - Kevin Lawlor, SCO +6 (21-18,21-10,5-21,21-13)

Peter Landberg, SWE - David Greatorex, ENG +15 (12-21,21-12,21-5,6-7)