This weekend’s IWT Swiss Open saw a new face taking part in the Men’s A – PSA Squash professional Dimitri Steinmann.
Steinmann is currently No.67 in the PSA Squash World Rankings and is the Swiss number two.
Last weekend he added a table tennis bat, badminton racket and tennis racket to his bag to make his Racketlon World Tour debut.
His introduction to racketlon was a first round match against France’s Damien Andre.
Steinmann obviously dominated the squash, winning 21-2. However, Andre’s racketlon experience came through, as he won the other three sports to knock Steinmann out in the first round.
Cedric Junillon caught up with Dimitri Steinmann after his first round match to find out how he was finding his racketlon experience.
Q. Welcome to Racketlon! How do you feel about the tournament here so far?
I like the atmosphere, [there’s] a close family feeling like we have in our squash world. The match was a bit hard as Damien [Andre] was definitely a tough opponent as a badminton and tennis player.
I didn’t really know in which category I should play but my friend Danijel Batinic told me to play Elite where I was given a Wild Card.
Q. How did you find out about racketlon?
I played one racketlon tournament 10 years ago. It was a junior event in Uster and I think I won it. Since then I have always kept an eye on the sport.
I watched online the World Champs final last year here and thought “squash was a decent level. Actually a very good level for two people I hadn’t heard of before” (Laughs).
This year it was during the squash off season here so I thought why not give it a shot!
I love the variety of it. You watch 10 minutes of each sport – it’s a great spectator experience if you know the rules.
Q. What’s your experience of the other sports apart from squash?
I play tennis regularly with my brother in the summer. I basically never play the other two.
For table tennis, I had a 30 minute crash course just before the game, which made me hit the ball decently but I’m defintiely miles away from the level needed.
For badminton and tennis I feel like I can compensate a lot physically. In badminton I was always under pressure against Damien who’s a specialist. But at least there were real rallies going on.
I had never switched sports like that before – It’s a big change! It really felt strange to play tennis just after squash.
Q. How did you train before this tournament?
Not at all. I was in the middle of the off season. If I were to play another one – maybe here again next year – I’d focus on badminton and tennis.
Q. Fellow squash player Henrik Mustonen won a Racketlon World Tour title last year. Had you heard about that?
Actually no, not before coming here!
Q. Which other professional squash players do you think would be good at racketlon?
Nicolas Mueller would be extremely good as he plays a lot of badminton and tennis. Daryl Selby would probably be a great all-round player.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Cedric Junillon