The IRF Launches World Tour
Gothenburg, Sweden, 2003-09-10
2003-01-07: first version
2003-04-10: the date for Austrian Open delayed by two weeks to 19-21 Sept
2003-05-02: the venue for Bulgarian Open changed to Sofia
2003-05-26: Bulgarian Open postponed. New date still unknown.
2003-09-10: New date introduced for Bulgarian Open;17-19 Oct.
WHO IS THE BEST RACKET PLAYER IN THE WORLD?
The International Racketlon Federation made official at Swedish Open in Stockholm last weekend that a Racketlon World Tour will be launched during 2003. A cousin of Triathlon and Decathlon, Racketlon is the sport where players challenge each other in all four of the World's major racket sports table tennis, squash, badminton and tennis. Four games to 21. The total number of points are summed up to decide the winner.
Although the name of the tour - "The IRF Racketlon World Tour" - does suggest otherwise the first year of the tour will be limited to tournaments in Europe. It was kicked off in Stockholm at Swedish Open and will in total have covered eight tournaments in six countries after its prestigeous peak at the World Championships in Gothenburg (Sweden again) in November. The tournaments of the tour will be linked by one common World Ranking System and have been planned according to the following calendar:
January: Swedish Open, Stockholm, 3-5
April: British Open, London, 12-13 April
May: Finnish Open, Lahti, 16-18 May
August: Scottish Open, Monifieth,16-17 August
September: Austrian Open, Vienna, 19-21 September
October: English Open, London, 4-5 October + Bulgarian Open, Sofia, 17-19 October
November: World Championships, Gothenburg, 31 October - 2 November
December: Seasonal Break
The tour constitutes yet another in a series of increasingly ambitious efforts to find an answer to the question "Who is the Best Racketplayer in the World?" The first answer was delivered in Sweden at Gothenburg Racketlon World Open in November 2001 when the first international racketlon tournament was held: Mikko Kärkkäinen, Finland. The second answer was delivered at the first official World Championships in November 2002 (also Gothenburg): Magnus Eliasson, Sweden. The question which seems to split the racketlon community in two almost equal halves is whether there is still anyone unknown out there that could challenge Eliasson for the title. The tour is bound to find out.
Rumour has it that Canadian squash World #2 Jonathon Power is also a good tennisplayer. Confirmed sources claim that Swedish former tennis World #1 Stefan Edberg has taken up squash and plays it at fairly high national level. There are indications that former table tennis World #1 Jan-Ove Waldner (also from Sweden) might be interested to try Racketlon when his incredibly successful table tennis career comes to an end. He is said to play a strong game of Tennis and everyone who has seen him play tends to believe that he could do almost anything with any ball. These are only three of Eliasson's potential challengers.
If the reader of this press release is an excellent all-round racket player the IRF Racketlon World Tour constitutes an opportunity to find out if he even, in fact, is a top international racketlon player. Everyone who participates in any of the tour events will get a position on the IRF Racketlon World Ranking.
More information about Racketlon in general and the tournaments of the tour in particular can be found at www.racketlon.com, the home page of the IRF.