The FIR Launches the 2008 Racketlon World Tour
2007-10-23: First version
2007-12-13: Changed the dates for the Austrian Open - from November (14-16) to August (29-31)
2007-12-14: Moved the dates one week later for the 2008 Swiss Open (new dates: 13-14 Sept)
2007-12-17: Moved the dates for the Dutch Open - from July 4-6 to July 18-20
2008-04-24: Changed the venue forDutch Open - from Rotterdam to Eindhoven (see newsitem)
The International Racketlon Federation today (2007-10-23) made official the calendar of the 2008 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, badminton, squash and tennis. Four sets to 21. Most points is the winner.
In 2008 the World Tour takes place for the sixth consecutive year. It contains 12 tournaments in 12 countries and compared to last year the major change is the addition of Swiss Open to the tour. It became the big Racketlon breakthrough of the year last June bringing some 150 new Swiss players to Racketlon in one go (an unprecedented figure if one excepts World Championships) and is consequently moved up from Challenger status.
Other new features include:
-The World Champs (held annualy since 2001) will take place in Fürth in southern Germany at the end of the year at the venue of the Bavarian Open (a Challenger event in 2007).
-The Doubles World Champs will be held at the English Open in London in anticipation of an English bid for the regular World Champs in 2009.
-The Swedish world tour event moves from Stockholm to Gothenburg. (As of the 2007 World Tour the number of tour events per country is maximised to one. In 2008 the Swedish Open will still be held in January, as tradition has it, but this year as a Challenger event in Malmö.)
-Dutch Open will take place in the beginning of July rather than in December
Here is the full calendar:
w8 HUNGARIAN OPEN (Budapest) 22-24
w10 CANADIAN OPEN (Toronto) 7-9 March ***S***
w14 CZECH OPEN (Prague) 4-6 April
w22 KING OF RACKETS (Oudenaarde, Belgium) 30 May1 June***S***
w24 FINNISH OPEN (Espoo) 13-15 June
w29 DUTCH OPEN (Eindhoven) 18-20 July
w33 ENGLISH OPEN + Doubles WC (London) 15-17 August
w35 AUSTRIAN OPEN (Vienna) 29-31 August ***S***
w37 SWISS OPEN (Zürich) 13-14 September
w39 SCOTTISH OPEN (Edinburgh) 26-28 September
w44 GOTHENBURG OPEN (Sweden) 31 Oct-2 Nov
w48 WORLD CHAMPS (Fürth, Germany) 27th-30th November ***S***
***S***="Super World Tour Event" = a minimum of 2000 Euro of prize money; and prestige factor 1,5 in the World Ranking system, except for the World Champs that has 2,0. (The other World Tour Events have a minimum of 700 Euro of prize money; and prestige factor 1,0.)
The Challenger level (prestige factor 0,5 in the FIR World Ranking System) that was
introduced in 2006 (see newsitem) in
order to provide a simple way for new tournaments to compete for
a position on the World Tour is maintained. Tournaments on this
level will be announced as they emerge during the year.
The present Racketlon World Champions Mikko Kärkkäinen (Finland) and Linda Jansson (Sweden)
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?" Is there still anyone unknown out there that could challenge the present World Champions Mikko Kärkkäinen (Finland) and Linda Jansson (Sweden)? Although not exactly unknown these are three potential challengers on the men's side:
Not many people know that Canadian former squash World Champion Jonathon Power actually started his career (at a very young age) as a badminton(!) player and is apparently also a good tennisplayer. In March 2006 he announced his retirement (see Squash Canada article) at a time when he was, at the age of 31, the oldest player ever to be the number 1 on the squash world ranking. A few years ago, he expressed an interest directly to Racketlon.com to take up Racketlon once his squash career slowed down... and when the tour visited Toronto in March he came down to watch...
Swedish former tennis world #1 Stefan Edberg has taken up squash and made his debut in the Swedish top(!) squash division in the autumn of 2006 (see newsitem). He did, in fact, already take part in his first Racketlon tournament in 2004 - which he won (see newsitem) - but that was only a small local one in his hometown Växjö. We are still waiting with excitement for his debut on the tour. Rumour has it that Edberg feels that he needs to get better in table tennis and badminton first...
There are also indications that former table tennis world #1 Jan-Ove Waldner might be interested to try Racketlon when his incredibly successful table tennis career comes to an end. Recently turned 40 and regarded by many as the best table tennis player the world ever saw, he is still winning; He became Swedish Champion again in 2006! And is said to play a strong game of Tennis - occassionaly against fellow Swede Mats Källberg, known to be the best table tennis player on the Racketlon World Tour - so-far!
Power, Edberg, Waldner. Three potential challengers on the 2008 Racketlon World Tour!
If the reader of this press release is an excellent all-round racket player the FIR Racketlon World Tour provides an opportunity to find out if he even, in fact, is a top international racketlete. But the tour events are not targeted on elite players only. Anyone can take part (most events will contain at least two separate lower classes for beginners and intermediate players, at least on the men's side) and everyone will get a position on the 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 homepage that started launching the game of Racketlon internationally back in 2001.