The 2019 racketlon season begins this weekend with the Thailand Open Challenger held in Pattaya, Thailand.
The Challenger tournament returns to the calendar for the second time after first appearing in the latter half of the 2017 season, the first time that racketlon had ever ventured to Southeast Asia.
The tournament is set in the spectacular Hotel Ambassador City Jomtien which boasts a vast array of racketlon facilities as well as a host of on-site swimming pools.
The popularity of the venue following the first tournament has seen a rise of participants from 26 to 40, including recent World Championship runner-up Astrid Reimer-Kern and World Tour Finals champion Arnaud Genin.
World No. 14 Jesper Hougaard is making his return to action after last playing at the Club La Santa Open in 2018.
Hong Kong’s Chun Cheng is the only player returning in the A grades from the 2017 tournament. He finished as the runner-up in the inaugural event, losing to India’s Ashutosh Avinash Pednekar who himself went on to become India’s first ever racketlon World Championship medallist after claiming bronze in the Men’s B at the 2018 Championships.
In total there are 12 nationalities represented at the tournament and it is particularly pleasing to see players from Thailand, India, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Turkey and Australia as we continue to make racketlon a more global sport.
Tournament organiser Frank Kleiber has also arranged for local television station ‘Pattaya People’ to report on the tournament and broadcast it in Thailand.
Action from the Thailand Open begins with doubles on Friday January 4. The singles categories will take place on January 5-6 with the prize ceremony being held at the close of play on Sunday.
Keep up-to-date on all the action the tournament across the weekend by checking our facebook and Instagram pages.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer