Christine Seehofer and Jesper Ratzer have both retained their World Championship crowns at the 2019 World Singles Championships.
Christine Seehofer defeated Isabelle Bramhall in a superb final while Jesper Ratzer fought off Morten Jaksland in an all-Danish contest.
The win means Seehofer is now a three-time World Singles Champion while Ratzer wins the title for a fifth time, one short of the all-time record held by Mikko Karkkainen.
Jesper Ratzer Wins Fifth World Singles Title
Having not seen Jesper Ratzer on the FIR World Tour since the 2018 World Championships there was mystery surrounding what kind of form he would be in.
The former World No.1 answered those questions quickly, defeating U21 World Champion Leon Griffiths and World No.4 Arnaud Genin in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.
In the final he would play fellow Dane Morten Jaksland. The current World No.1 has had a blistering year, winning seven singles titles and clinching the FIR World Tour Race trophy.
Jaksland had never previously taken a set off of Ratzer. That changed in the very first set. Jaksland battled hard, going toe-to-toe with the four-time champion to take the table-tennis 23-21.
Badminton has always been a weakness for Jaksland in their previous meetings and it proved to be the case again today. Ratzer dominated a high-quality badminton set, winning 21-7 to move 12 points ahead before squash.
In the squash set Jaksland simply never got going. Ratzer raced out ahead and despite a spirited fightback from Jaksland in the second half Ratzer did enough to win the match before tennis.
After a year competing in obstacle races and improving in parkour, Ratzer’s celebrations, leaping across the side and front wall of the squash court will go down as one of the best in racketlon history.
Ratzer now has his sights set on World Title No.6, to tie the record set by Finland’s Mikko Karkkainen. We’ll find out if he can achieve that in Rotterdam 2020. His winning run in all racketlon singles matches extends to over five years.
For Morten Jaksland a silver medal and first World Singles Championship final is a solid achievement. It’s been an impressive year for the Dane who will certainly be one of the leading contenders once again in 2020.
In his first full season on the FIR World Tour, Arnaud Genin takes home the bronze medal after Dan Busby was forced to withdraw. A splendid achievement from Genin as he continues to improve as one of racketlon’s best players.
Christine Seehofer Wins Third World Singles Title
Christine Seehofer had looked superb the whole way through her campaign to become World Champion. The Austrian had not needed her tennis racket so far through the first three rounds. That would change in the final though as Izzy Bramhall pushed her extremely hard.
Bramhall had enjoyed the best week of her racketlon career. She guided Great Britain to a first FIR World Cup title and made, as she confessed in her own words, a surprising run through to the final of the Women’s Elite.
Bramhall’s story looked like it might add another remarkable chapter as she produced a surprising 21-14 table tennis victory. Seehofer battled back to take the badminton 21-9 but with Bramhall historically winning both the squash and tennis by slender margins this match looked like it could go down to the wire.
However, Seehofer is not World No.1 and on a winning streak spanning almost 100 matches for no reason. The Austrian came alive in the squash, winning by eight points to leave her needing nine for the World Title.
With Seehofer and Bramhall typically contesting close tennis sets, it was little surprise to see the final score end 9-9. Seehofer crowned World Champion once again. The unbeaten run and growing legacy continue to build. As we head into 2020 there’s a sense of deja vu. Can anyone defeat this racketlon superstar?
For Bramhall, she will not be too disheartened. After years of battling injuries, her first World Singles Championships in eight years have rewarded her with an FIR World Cup triumph – Great Britain’s first – and an Elite Singles final.
Zuzana Severinova takes home the bronze medal, another landmark moment for the youngster who also scooped up the U21 World Championship gold. She heads into 2020 looking to build on a splendid year.
The full matches are both available to rewatch with commentary on sportdeutschland.tv.
The full results from the final day of the Racketlon World Championships are available here.
Every single category from the Racketlon World Championships will have a report written about it in the coming days so stay tuned to learn more about how everything unfolded at Sportpark Leipzig.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer