13th Czech Open

One of the favourite FIR tournaments of the year, partly because of its idyllic location, but also because of the all-in-one concept, with the hotel and sports centre being in the same complex, attracted only three Swiss Racketlon addicts, this year.
Our Mens hero, Beni Hampl, was seeded 3, with a scheduled semi-final against possible future World No. 1 Lukas Windischberger. However, he found in the quarter final against ex-PSA player Dan Busby, after the expected good start in table tennis to (nearly) neutralise the damage he was handed out in squash, that Dan also plays a fairly mean game of badminton. The 21-8 loss was just a little bit too much to claw back in tennis, and so Beni had to be satisfied with joint 5th place.
In Mens doubles, Beni paired up with Dan to make a formidable combination, but had the bad luck of effectively having to play the final in the first round! Slovenian star Janez Makovec has not played for two years, and so has no ranking points, but that does not mean he is not one of the best players in the world, and teaming up with World No. 4 Morten Jaksland, posed an unstoppable combination, with the Swiss-British team only barely winning in their primary sports, table tennis and squash. Nevertheless, losing by only 11 points to the later gold medalists was an impressive achievement.
Simon Zurschmiede competed in a different open singles category, Mens C. After suffering defeat in the first two matches, he came into his own and thrashed Robert Hammer by winning all three sports, not even needing his tennis racket. Unfortunately, there was less success in Mens B doubles, where he paired up with the Russian Sergei Seregin.
The serial Racketlon fanatic Graham King ended up playing in the more difficult classes with the “junior seniors”, as there were too few +60 registrations, and the +55 draw was full. He also came up short as a result of the scheduling difficulties and ended up playing all five of his singles matches on one day. Despite winning all but one of his table tennis matches, and most of his squash matches, there were no singles medals, but instead an early bedtime, being too exhausted to take consolation in the Prague party scene. At least he picked up a silver in his seniors doubles event as a consolation.
Graham King

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Aktuelle Rankings (1. Dezember 2023)

Herren Einzel
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2. Oliver Bühler
3. Cédric Junillon
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5. Noah Mamié
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