Racketlon is back! Just three days into the new decade and we have not one but two tournaments coming your way. We’re going to start with the CHA Thailand Open, returning once again to the calendar.
Taking place in the spectacular Hotel Ambassador Jomtien in Pattaya once again, the Thailand Open also marks the start of the first-ever Racketlon Asian Swing. One week after the Thailand Open, the Indian Open is being held in Udaipur.
The Indian Open preview is for another day though. Today it’s time to breakdown the CHA Thailand Open draw.
Men’s A Preview
This is a very special Men’s A draw when you look at the four seeded players. Mohammed Tarik Houbaa from Morocco, Kevin Ho Ching Ng from Hong Kong, Patrick Moran from USA and Leigh Sands from Australia. Four players, from four different continents and not one of them Europe! Certainly, the first time in racketlon history that this has happened.
Those four players all receive a bye through to the quarter-finals leaving the other eight players duking it out in the first round. Battling to face Koubaa in the quarter-finals, Britain’s Piers Boden makes the long journey to Thailand to take on Indian debutant Gourav Rakshit. After a comeback year competing on the junior circuit, this is the first step for Piers back into the Men’s racketlon world.
The second match pits Hong Kong’s Chung Him Samuel Li against Martyn Langston. Another Brit facing another debutant. The winner of this match will advance to take on Australia’s Leigh Sands in the quarter-finals.
The bottom half of the draw begins with the only all-European match as Frank Kleiber faces Stefan Urban. While the two have never met, they are both racketlon regulars. Speaking of racketlon regulars, Patrick Moran awaits the winner in the quarter-finals.
The final first-round match pits Thailand’s Sathid Sujittapiban against India’s Sidharth Nandal. Both took part in last year’s tournament but in the Men’s B and C respectively. This marks a step up for both men and whoever wins will face No.2 seed Ho Ching Ng in the quarter-finals.
Women’s A Preview
The four-player box league provides a big opportunity for one woman to walk away with an elite racketlon trophy. Glenda Ong is the top seed and, actually, the only player with a ranking. The players from the Philippines is looking to go two better than last year when she came third.
Joining her in the league is youngster Julia Schirutschke and debutants Sin Yee Simmy Chung and Tung Yu Yip. With the two players from Hong Kong making their international debut, it’s hard to judge who is going to win this, but Ong’s experience certainly gives her the advantage.
Men’s B Preview
Eight men make up the Men’s B draw although little is known about most of them. Finland’s Seppo Raiski is the top seed while Hong Kong’s Tang Hon Leung is No.2. Raiski is a seasoned tour player while Leung is a regular at the CHA Thailand Open. After winning the Men’s C back in 2017, last lear Leung came 4th in the Men’s B.
The only other member of the draw to have played before is Victor Tak Lung Wong. The Hong Kong player finished 5th in the Men’s C last year. The other five players – Shivashish Behera, Adrian Ng, Bridge Yan Kiu Lam, Yi Chye Ngo and Callum Wrench – are all making their debut.
There are a variety of other categories including juniors, seniors and doubles taking place at the CHA Thailand Open. You can follow all the results across the weekend here.
Check out the 2020 FIR World Tour and Challengers here and enter a tournament today!
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer