Malmö Racketlon and Dillon are delighted to welcome a record number of players to our tournament: 159 players from 14 countries in 20 draws – and also the first leg of the reinvented Champions League! A lot of great racketlon is guaranteed at Hyllie sportcenter’s five parallel courts. Just over a third of the players are Swedish, which means we have a truly international IWT Dillon Swedish Open 2017. Twenty-six Danish players cross the Øresund bridge to fight for medals, and as many as eighteen players come from the UK.
All draws and the time schedule are now online on fir.tournamentsoftware.com.
Eight balanced teams compete in Champions League
Eight Champions League teams will play their first leg matches in Malmö on Friday. The new drafting format ensures teams of equal strength, thus we’re up for some exciting matches as Helsinki Hawks, iPro London, KoR Oudenaarde, Swiss Army Knives, Berghain Berlin Boasters, Klosterneuburg Racketlonshop Austria, Three Percent Malta Magic, and Technifibre Copenhagen will play their three first matches. While the local spectators has no Swedish team to support from the sidelines, Sweden is represented by six players in five teams, including Niclas Larsson and Mikael Rehn in the Swiss Army Knives. While early speculations have put iPro London and KoR Oudenaarde as favorites, in reality the Champions League is one of the most exciting racketlon events in a while – no one knows who will be on top after the first leg in Malmö!
No defending champions, but very strong players
Last year’s Swedish Open displayed total Danish dominance in the elite draws. Jesper Ratzer and Line Irby Nørregaard won it all: the singles, the men and women doubles, and the mixed doubles together! However, now that Ratzer has retired and Irby Nørregaard is injured, there are no defending champions returning to Malmö. Nonetheless, we are sure to get some world class racketlon action as plenty of the top players in the world have entered the tournament. Looking at the world ranking lists, we notice seven Top-10 men and five Top-10 women. Kasper Jønsson, runner-up in 2015 and 2016, is the top seed and favorite among the men, but the second seed Lukas Windischberger and others are sure to put up a great fight. In Women A, Amke Fischer is the top seed, eager to win in her first 2017 world tour event. Fischer, silver medalist in the recent 2016 World Championships, is challenged by several strong women, including last year’s Swedish Open runner-up Lillian Druve. Note that there is no elite doubles in Swedish Open this year, as the Friday attention is primarily directed at the Champions League.
From the Swedish perspective
Thanks to Lilian Druve, Sweden has one defending medalist in the elite singles this year. As so many times before, the Swedish Racketlon Federation puts a lot of hope on Druve’s experience. Regarding Men A, there has been no Swedish medals since Stefan Adamsson won the bronze in 2014. Niclas Larsson, another experienced player, has the highest world ranking among the Swedes this year, and we hope his matches with the Swiss Army Knives will inspire him to bring forward his best racketlon also in singles event. Also, we want to highlight the two Swedish wild cards. First, the local player Emil Gunnarsson, who won the silver medal in the Swedish Championships last year (lost to Adamsson), just keeps improving his game. Second, we introduce the new player Magnus Sahlberg to international racketlon. He has a solid badminton background and a recent winner of the Gothenburg regional championships. With eight Swedes in the draw, is it finally time for another Swedish Men A podium finish?
Men B looks particularly strong this year, fielding several players with experience in A draws. The highest ranked Swede is Erik Pettersson (WR78), but also Stenfelt, Möller, Lipczynski, Hellberg and the local player Magnus Brommesson have good chances to compete for the medals. Sweden is lucky to have so many strong players just under the elite class! Brommesson, who made an impressive debut in international racketlon at last year’s Swedish Open with medals in both Men B and Seniors +45, is this year surely a title contender in Seniors +50.
Welcome to Malmö!