Malmö Racketlon hosted two co-located events February 24-26: IWT Dillon Swedish Open 2017 and the first leg of FIR Champions League 2017. The weekend in Malmö attracted a record number of players and more racketlon matches than ever before in the south of Sweden – more than 400 matches without even counting the team event! Lukas Windischberger, Austria, won his second world tour title of the year and Amke Fischer, Germany, dominated in Women A. All results are available on fir.tournamentsoftware.com
First leg of FIR Champions League 2017
In Champions League, eight drafted teams played three matches each – a reinvention of team racketlon leading to many close matches. No team won all their matches, but the favorites iPro Sports London (Captain: Duncan Stahl) has a small lead after the first leg in Sweden. The tight Friday schedule put a lot of pressure on the players, but all players enjoyed the new Champions League experience.
Four matches remain to be played in the second leg in Nussloch, Germany, thus anything can still happen. Adding to the uncertainty, many teams will also replace several players for the next leg. Be sure to expect a few surprises in Germany!
Record numbers and a first ever Women first-timer category
As many as 156 players entered IWT Dillon Swedish Open 2017, more than ever before in the Swedish Open history. We saw some tough draws with 7 of the 10 best men in the world in Men A, and 5 of the 10 best women. Thirty-three players signed up for Men A, but as the draw was restricted to 24, also Men B was very strong this year.
For the first time in Sweden, we hosted a Men E category for fresh starters – a much appreciated possibility for new players to try racketlon. Moreover, we offered the same possibility for women, and introduced three new players to our fantastic sport!
New Swedish Open champions
As no defending champions entered the tournament this year, we were sure to get some new winners. Lukas Windischberger is continuously improving and won his second title of the year. He displayed some impressive racketlon in the final, winning both table tennis and badminton against the top seed Kasper Jønsson. In the bronze match, Morten Jaksland won against Marko Välimäki without playing any of his top-level tennis.
The favorite Amke Fischer was too strong for the opposition in Women A, and won her three matches comfortably. The rest of the podium positions were open, however, and the spectators got too see several tight matches. In the end, the two unseeded players Liselot De Bleeckere and Zuzana Severinová won the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
Due to the Champions League event, no elite doubles were played in Malmö. On the other hand, several elite players participated in the doubles category. Mikael Hansen and Morten Plougmann from Denmark won the gold medal. As Ploughmann also won Men B, it looks like we soon have another strong Dane on the world tour. Kirsten Kaptein and Anna Wall won the women doubles, and Stine Jacobsen and Kristian Jørgensen won the mixed doubles.
A final highlight to report from IWT Dillon Swedish Open 2017 is the Men C final between Carsten Lidegaard, Denmark, and Mohammed Tarik Koubaa, Morocco. It ended with a gummiarm tiebreak. The match happened to be refereed by the FIR Rules Officer Hans van Deele (credit: Markus Borg). The spectators got to see the local Malmö player Lidegaard first save three match points, lose van Deele’s coin flip, get the serve, and then play a tremendously exciting point – which Lidegaard finally won. Simply racketlon at its best!
Malmö Racketlon, and the entire tournament crew, extend thanks to all players. We hope to see you again in the future!