Racketlon history will be made on Friday as India hosts its first international tournament. Taking place in the beautiful city of Udaipur, over 40 players will compete across three days of action.
Men’s A: Stahl Leads Eight-Man Field
Four racketlon regulars are joined by four local players for a fascinating Men’s A field. World No.10 Duncan Stahl is the top seed in the competition with Hong Kong’s Kevin Ho Ching Ng the other seed in the draw. CHA Thailand Open champion Piers Boden and bronze medallist Leigh Sands make up the non-Indian players.
The Indian contingent consists of Sidharth Nandal, runner-up at the Thailand Open, World D Champion Abhinava Kashyap Akshinthala, Amarendu Srivastava and debutant Sahishnu Dantare.
It’s a tough start to proceedings for the World D Champion, as he opens against World No. 10 Stahl. The winner of that match will advance to the semi-finals to take on the winner of Piers Boden and Leigh Sands. Boden and Sands met in the semi-finals just one week ago, with Boden prevailing on his way to the title.
For the second week in a row, Kevin Ho Ching Ng will begin his tournament against Sidharth Nandal. One week ago, Nandal won by just two points. Could we see another thriller between the pair? Whoever does prevail is guaranteed to face an Indian player in the semi-finals. Debutant Sahishnu Dantare begins his international career against Amarendu Srivastava.
Women’s A: Indian Trio to Meet for Title
A three-woman box league makes up the Women’s A category. Two of the players, Pooja Shah and Sushmita Panigrahi, made their debuts last year at the World Singles and Teams Championships. They are joined in the competition by Bhargavi Mitra, a debutant looking to crash the party.
With all three in the early stages of their racketlon life, this is a great chance for one player to earn a well-deserved trophy, a perfect way to kick-start the 2020 season.
Men’s B: Frank Kleiber Flying the European Flag in India
Frank Kleiber is the lone European player in an intriguing draw littered with local debutants. Kleiber is the top seed with Indian trio, Prashant Sen, Aakash Ashutosh Pednekar and Kedar Nadgonde the other seeded players.
With 16-players in the draw in total, there are nine debutants. The other players to have competed in a tournament before are India’s Gourav Rakshit and Hong Kong pair Hei Nam Lee and Yin Kiu Kevin Leung. All three took part in last week’s CHA Thailand Open.
Good luck to all players competing in the first CHA Indian Open, especially all those taking part in their first tournament.
Follow the results from the tournament across the weekend here.
The full 2020 FIR World Tour and Challengers are available here. Remember, every racketlon tournament is open for anyone to enter so make 2020 the year you give racketlon a try.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer