Faster, Higher, More Top Spin, it´s time for the Racket Masters

The world is gripped by Olympic fever and every story in the world of Olympic sport is played out at every Racketlon tournament. This weekend at the Surrey Sports Park, UK Racketlon host the Racket Masters. With 99 players and 166 entries covering 24 draws from U13s to O60s and an athletes village the 2016 Racket Masters looks sure to be our fitting tribute to Rio 2016.  All the draws can be found on fir.tournamentsoftware.com

 

We start with the Men's A, featuring a brace of Danes (Jesper Ratzer and Kresten Hougaard) and Austrians (Michi Dickert and Alexander Barbunopulos) and Belgien Peter Duyck. They are joined by 11 Brits led by Jordan, Stahl, Busby and rising star Leon Griffiths. Ratzer (credit: Racketlon Great Britain) is the favourite, he is undefeated at the Surrey Sports Park, his 2014 World Title and 2015 Racket Masters wins already bagged.

In the Ladies A, defending champion Martina Meißl is back. She is seeded second with top seed the Swedish legend, Lillian Druve. There is tough competition around with Lieselot de Bleeckere and home favourite Lauren Whiteman also seeded.

Around the other draws, the Men's B looks like a barnstorming event. A mainly British affair the event is headed by Richard Middleton as top seed. He is joined by a host of British talent with our favourite Frenchman, Fabien Mauroy and Swede Sami Sidia in the draw along with Aussie Leigh Sands.

The Ladies B with 6 ladies in 2 box leagues is headed by seeds Dianne Baker and Katie Barclay. The Men's C features Racketlon stalwarts van Daele (Belgium) and Pope as top seeds, but it is the young talent from GB that stands out. Luke Griffiths, David Bennett and Joshua Ben, the World Champion GB U16s squad all feature in this draw.

The Men's D is an all UK affair with George Roberts hoping to achieve victory. A quick flick around the juniors sees that defending champion Luke Griffiths chases a second title, smiling his way throughout he may be UK Racketlon's version of Usain Bolt if he can grin to victory. In the U16s, David Bennett chases glory to add to his recent U16s world team and doubles titles. His main rival is Kieran Shelley. Ross Ewan and Daniel Ryan the seeds in this event which we expect to be keenly contested.

The older generation are also well represented with 3 mens and 1 ladies vets class in action. The Ladies Vets may be the event of the weekend, UK hopes rest on Barbara Capper and Jo Shelley but this stellar draw could go in any direction as they are joined by Heike Voigt (Ger), Esther Dubendorfer (Swi) and top seed Lillian Druve (Swe). This is an 8 draw event that is too close to call!

For the Men's O45s it is an equally tough field. Jason Granville leads the pack but faces competition from primarily second seed Richard Middleton but neither man has an easy path to the final.The O55s is a 6 man event with 2 boxes headed by seeds Duncan Marlow and Julian Clapp. Box league Racketlon is always physically tiring so this event may be a survival of the fittest! A glutton for punishment, Julian Clapp also goes for glory in the Men's O60s, a four player round robin meaning 6 full matches for Julian, channelling his inner Daley Thompson to survive.

There are also a host of doubles categories, some belting ties floating around, and plenty of elite player experience for upcoming players such as Hannah Boden and Leon Griffiths. Doubles gets us underway on Friday with singles completing on Sunday. Weatherwise the Surrey Sports Park may be breaking its duck, rain seems inevitable at a venue that has so far been blessed with great weather (for the UK). Regardless the Racket Masters will doubtless be a sensational event and will once again showcase the best Racketlon has to offer without our court surfaces strangely turning green.....

See you all Friday!
 

James Pope
Racketlon Great Britain

Read the unshortened article on racketlon.co.uk!