The IRF Launches the 2005 Racketlon World Tour
Gothenburg, Sweden, 2005-01-11
2005-01-10: First version
2005-01-11: Postponed the dates of Canadian Open by one day.
The International Racketlon Federation today makes official the Calendar of the 2005 IRF Racketlon World Tour. 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 sets to 21. Most points is the winner.
Given the fact that the first international Racketlon competition was played only in November 2001 and a spectacular growth by 105% in 2004 (from 524 to 1078 players from 32 different countries on the world ranking) we believe that Racketlon is presently the fastest growing sport in the world.
In 2005 the World Tour take place for the third consecutive year. It contains 11 tournaments in 10 different countries and compared to last year there are two new venues; in Edinburgh and Prague. Like last year the tour will cross the Atlantic with Canadian Open in Toronto and, as Racketletes have grown used, the tour will peak at the end of the year with the World Championships, this time (as in 2004) in Vienna, Austria.
This is the full calendar:
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 question which splits the racketlon community in two camps is whether there is still anyone unknown out there that could challenge the World Champion Magnus Eliasson (Sweden) for this title. Sometimes described as "The Ivan Lendl of Racketlon" (see news article "Sweden's Racketlon Revenge" on www.racketlon.com) the former ice hockey professional dominated the 2004 tour almost completely and concluded a long series of nothing but victories in November by winning the World Championships for a third consecutive time. The tour is bound to find out if his superior at all exists. The group of people who believe that someone unknown will succeed in beating him is getting smaller by every new Eliasson victory.
However: Canadian former squash World Champion Jonathon Power is apparently also a good tennisplayer. Swedish former tennis World #1 Stefan Edberg has taken up squash and plays it at an elite national level. There are also 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.
Similar questions can, in fact, be posed on the Women's side, where Scotland's Sarah McFadyen has sailed up as almost as strong a favourite as Eliasson after only one year of Racketlon experience. In 2004 she won the World Championship title in a convincing manner.
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. But the tour events are not targeted on Elite players only. Anyone can take part in a tour event (most events will contain at least one separate class for amateurs) and everyone 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.