Sportyfriends Copenhagen defeated reigning champions Berlin Berghain Boasters to win their first-ever Racketlon Champions League crown.
Berlin looked to be on course to defend their title after the first leg in Germany but suffered two losses to Copenhagen in France to see it slip away.
There was more heartache for Berlin as Berlin Berghain Boasters 2 also finished second in Division Two, with the Amsterdam Warriors taking the title.
Amke Fischer’s Berlin Berghain Boasters Top Champions League Table
All the talk ahead of the second leg was of an expected final between Sportyfriends Copenhagen and Berlin Berghain Boasters. That is exactly what ended up happening.
The two teams met at the start of the day in the group stage, giving the crowd a taste of what to expect later on. That first match was a nail-biting affair, with Copenhagen taking a narrow +12 overall victory.
In fact, the first round of fixtures in France ended up being a repeat of all three finals. C&C Racketlon Union Austria lost to Three Percent Malta Magic before later facing them again in the third-place playoff. Meanwhile, iPro London took on Swedish Vikings, beating them in impressive fashion.
Copenhagen did not have it all their own way on the final day though. Malta produced a big shock in the final group game to defeat the eventual champions. However, it was too-little-too-late for Malta who were already too far back to qualify for the final. That result meant that Berlin won the group and went into the final as the favourite.
Captain Jaksland Guides Sportyfriends Copenhagen to Maiden Crown
In the final, it was Berlin that started the brightest. A positive set of table tennis results saw them take a +6 lead, spearheaded by Cornelius Radermacher’s 11-4 win over Arnaud Genin.
Copenhagen flipped the script in the badminton though. Arnaud Genin and Zuzana Severinova won 11-3 against Amke Fischer and Radermacher while Severinova also beat Fischer 11-4 in the women’s singles to swing the pendulum in Copenhagen’s favour.
The decisive blow was struck in squash. Copenhagen won all six squash sets to finish the match in style and get their hands on the Champions League trophy for the first time.
Berlin now turn their attention to the 2020 Champions League as they attempt to win it back. Third-place was won by C&C Racketlon Union Austria. Lukas Windischberger’s team rallied after their earlier defeat to get revenge over Three Percent Malta Magic, beating them comfortably in the end.
In amongst the team results, Morten Jaksland, Cornelius Radermacher and Stine Jacobsen were the stars of the tournament. All three dropped just one match throughout for Copenhagen, Berlin and Malta respectively.
Amsterdam Warriors Hold Off Berlin Fightback to Win Division Two
The four-team Division Two box league also came to a close in France, with Amsterdam Warriors snatching the title on their debut.
Amsterdam came into the second leg tied with iPro London at the top of the table. Berlin Berghain Boasters were actually the only team to win all three of their matches in France. Most impressive was their +6 victory over eventual champions Amsterdam. However, a disappointing first leg had left them too far behind Amsterdam overall, falling just short of catching the eventual champions.
iPro London 2’s challenge faded after losing to both Berlin 2 and Amsterdam. That left the defending champions in third place on the podium. French Flair put up a good fight across both legs but ultimately finished bottom of the table.
The Warriors were spearheaded by their captain Koen Hageraats. The Dutch player was superb, winning 11 of his 12 sets with teammate Guidi Weijel winning eight of 12. French Flair’s Matilda Parslow had an impressive Champions League, winning seven of 12 individual matches. A special mention also to Jean Michot who won all six of his matches but only competed in France.
The full results from every match at the 2019 Champions League can be seen here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer