The Old Crunch the New! Who is Magnus
Keith Lesser (England), contagiously inspired first time
tournament director of the upcoming English Open and the only
non-Swedish participant, reports below from the first Västerås
Racketlon Open, the youngest of five tournaments on the official
Swedish Racketlon Tour. (These five tournaments are: Swedish
Open, Swedish Championships, Karlskrona Racketvirtuoso, Västerås
Open and Gothenburg Open.)
Stefan Adamsson is the champion of the Stockholm Västerås Open. The pivitol factor in this competition was Stefan's remarkable hunger to win and his stamina. After his recent triumph in The Belgian Open, Stefan can surely be called the form player on the planet and who could disagree. I think his only weak area in the tournament was Pingis, however he made 9 points against Fagerström in Badminton and beat Fagerström and Persson 21-4 in squash. The Racketlon world reads this statistic and feels sick to the stomach. How can the gap in squash be so big? Racketlon is sometimes a mystery and not everything can be explained. Stefan looks to enter the British Squash Open if possible and who would doubt his potential to outlast the best?
The magic of a Swedish Racketlon tournament cannot be understated. Where in the world can you get most of the best players in the world competing and enthralling spectators? Where can you get 12 badminton courts, 8 table tennis courts and 3 squash and 4 tennis courts. All conditions were perfect, however only really 2 squash courts were tournament standard. It is a common psychological thought in society today that the successful in work, life or even in sport have a hint of insanity. This segment of their personality which makes them slightly unstable makes them different, innovative and ultimately outstanding. Why are the Swedes the best in Racketlon today? Are they completely mental? I gathered much evidence over the weekend to support this assertion. They all go to bed at 10PM and definitely do not visit any late night drinking establishments. Participants around the world could learn from this professionalism. They prepare and they eat in meticulous detail guaranteeing they have the desired levels of nutrition needed to compete at the highest level. What else you may ask? They practice an insane amount. Pubs are too expensive todrink into the night, even London is cheap compared to Stockholm. What else can they do all day? They train and they train and they train and they train. Not one Swede is out of shape. Keith Lesser might be the fittest man in British Racketlon, there are 10 swedes fitter.
One more point is they are not afraid to say that Swedish
football is not always interesting. The modern Racketloner loves
the English Premier League because of its intensity and dynamism.
Racketlon celebrity Rickard Persson famously supports QPR,
Christian Wall Spurs and Mathias Fagerström Charlton. Mathias is
so mental he thinks Charlton will finish in Europe and also has
issued a challenge to any racketlon player around the world to
come and take him on at The English Open. Indeed, Mathias will
come to London to celebrate his girlfriend's birthday in the
English capital in style. Who else wants a slice of the £250 top
prize? Mathias will have his work cut out with competition from
superstars Persson, Adamsson, Wall, Källberg, Carlsberg,
Nordstrand, Nilsson and class one champion Johan Porsborn.
Indeed Porsborm was a class act in the Klass 1 event defeating
Markus Noterius in the final. After a see-saw pingis affair
seeing Porsborn win, Noterius hit back in badminton. Jonas, the
professional press reporter for the Stockholm Tennis Open, won
the squash and tennis showing a great fighting spirit. Porsborn
right now is my favourite to win Klass 1 at the world
championships, he fights in the first 3 sports playing all to a
decent level and then plays tennis to the same level as the top
elite players like Håkansson and Adamsson. Jonas defeated number
one seed Keith Lesser from England in the semi-final stage. This
was arguabely the match of the category. This match promised
much, but in the end was an anti-climax. Lesser is playing the
table tennis and Racketlon of his life, but it was not enough.
Porsborn was, sensationally, winning the table tennis at the
beginning and at 5-4 to the energetic Swede the Englishman was
ready to get back on his flight to London Luton (incidently Luton
to Västerås is 2 Kroner Return right now - Enter The 2005
English Open at http://www.racketlon.co.uk/EnglishOpen2005/home.htm).
I digress, Racketlon Klass 1! Lesser sensationally showed some
Mats Källberg magic and came back to win 21-5. Game on.
Badminton was a closely knit affair. However, Porsborn fought and
concentrated and won 21-14. Lesser tried a new tactic copying
world champion Magnus Eliasson, by shouting and showing plenty of
aggression. Did it work? Should Racketloners be aggressive, who
knows? Maybe Lesser would have made 8 points without the
shouting, maybe he would have won. Fagerström's coaching stands
Keith in good stead to take plenty of points against future
opposition. Squash was the real deal-breaker and Porsborn
destroyed, the match was over. However, the tennis match was nice
and enouraging. Maybe, now people are talking about two young
ginger players from Britain, maybe they are not. Calum is
certainly the better looking individual and deserves his accolade
as British Number One.
Anders Ricken cannot make the English Open, he is playing a badminton tournament. However, every other Swede is interested. The message is there for the Swedes to come and conquer. I would love to again hear a rendition of Guns N Roses Paradise City from Racketlon legend Stefan Adamsson. This unseen kareoke talent at the Belgian Open should be on stage in London with his student buddies. Viktor Tjerneld played his first Racketlon event. This top nationally ranked junior table tennis player showed decent pingis and badminton, but was out shone in the others and struggled with injury eventually pulling out to Lesser who took 3rd prize.
What a tournament and what interesting contests we have to look forward to in Swedish Racketlon. Wall beats Källberg again, yet Persson has never beaten Källberg. Wall beats Persson, but Persson beats Wall when it matters. Nilsson beats Källberg or did he? Did the table tennis genius reserve energy as he knew he plays Wall or Persson in the quarter final anyway? Noone knows for sure but it must be very hard to play with full rigourousness when the match is not imperative to win. I will give Joachim the award of most improved player in Swedish Racketlon and he now displays the strength in 4 sports to challenge the best. His new post in a sports centre should give enough time for the talented tour attendee to have many more great results in the future. Wall lost to Adamsson in Belgium so might not be known to the world. However, Christian is not only one of the nicest guys on the tour. He also played in the junior national tennis squad beating the likes of Magnus Norman in his prime. Place this alongside his formidable 17 points against Rickard in the group stage at table tennis and his victories in badminton over Persson and Källberg. Wall will win a tour event soon. Fagerström can be world champion you better believe it. He is not a new name, but on another day he wins this event. He beat Adamsson at table tennis and badminton. Another day sees Adamsson only make 4 points in badminton not 9. Another day sees Fagerström make 13 in squash, not 4. Another day sees Fagerström find some extra zest and finishes Adamsson in the tennis. Can you see it in Vienna? I can. Fagerström has the "X factor" and is my favourite for the English Open. Håkansson had a bad draw playing only Adamsson and Fagerström but showed he is still improving and is spending plenty of time on court. Watch out for Henrik, a dark horse in London!
Stefan Edberg, can you hear me? Jan Ove Waldner, can you hear me? Mats Källberg played 3 sets of tennis one day before the Västerås Open with Jan Ove (the greatest table tennis player of all time). How good is Mats? In February he made a match with Waldner and lead 2-1 in sets and 5-0 in points. He is the best table tennis player in the history of Racketlon and gets special treatment in London. Magnus Eliasson has to watch his back, the rest are catching and it is inevitable that soon he will be tested. Wall beats Eliasson in the final of the English Open on gummi-arm to take the top prize money? Or does Adamsson beat Fagerström. I'm so excited I might have to go out and get even more sponsors and increase the prize money even more, watch this space!
Tournament Director English Open 2005 (did you guess?)
Answers on a postcard to firstname.lastname@example.org
Elite results in summary are available below. Stay tuned to the tournament website for the complete ones.
Stefan Adamsson (Swe) - Henrik Håkansson (Swe) +17 (tt:23-21, ba:17-21, sq:21-9, te:12-5)
Mathias Fagerström (Swe) - Andreas Carlberg +21 (13-21, 21-0, 21-15, 3-1)
Rickard Persson (Swe) - Joachim Nilsson (Swe) +10 (21-18,21-14,17-21,17-13)
Christian Wall (Swe) - Mats Källberg (Swe) +4 (5-21,21-15,21-14,21-14)
Stefan Adamsson (Swe) - Mathias Fagerström (Swe) +11 (17-21,9-21,21-4,21-11)
Rickard Persson (Swe) - Christian Wall (Swe) +5 (21-10,19-21,21-15,7-17)
Match for 3rd prize:
Mathias Fagerström (Swe) - Christian Wall (Swe) +28 (22-20,21-2,21-14,-)
Stefan Adamsson (Swe) - Rickard Persson (Swe) +14 (6-21,21-14,21-4,13-8)