Stine Jacobsen, Clarissa Steiner, Esther Dübendorfer and Lena Schaedler were all officially crowned World Champions on Thursday, with another 17 Juniors and Seniors titles up for grabs on Friday.
It was a first world championship title for all three, with Jacobsen winning the Women’s Seniors +40, Dübendorfe defending her Women’s +45 title, Steiner winning the Girls U18 and Schaedler winning the Girls U16.
Linda Rohrer is also already a champion but will be officially declared so on Friday when her category is completed.
Women’s +40 – Jacobsen Wins in Style
Stine Jacobsen has been one of the most in-form players in World Racketlon this year, so to see the Dane lift her first world championship title is no surprise.
Jacobsen crushed both Kirsten Kaptein and Alice Flatman in a dominant display that saw her win both without needing her tennis racket. This type of dominant display will give her confidence heading into her Women’s Elite Singles first-round contest against top seed Anna-Klara Ahlmer.
Jacobsen is joined on the podium by Kirsten Kaptein and Alice Flatman after Kaptein beat Flatman comfortably before tennis. It was a tough start to life on the international circuit for Alice Flatman, who now, like Jacobsen and Kaptein, goes in the Women’s Elite Singles on Friday.
The full Women’s +40 Singles results are available here.
Women’s +45 – Dübendorfer Completes the Hat-Trick
Esther Dübendorfer came to the World Singles Championship knowing that she could become a three-time world champion at this age group. In the end, that is exactly what she did.
Dübendorfer was in the three-player box league with Nicole Kamphues and Susan Rutschmann and she extended her unbeaten record against both players with confident wins, especially dominating on the badminton and squash courts.
Dübendorfer now joins Barbara Capper in winning this age category on three occasions and three times in a row. Rutschmann finished with the silver medal after a 21-6 tennis set secured a +8 win over Kamphues.
The full Womens+45 results are available here.
Girls U18 – Steiner Soars to First World Title
Much like Stine Jacobsen, Clarissa Steiner roared to the Girls U18 Singles title without playing tennis. The young Austrian also won the title without dropping a single set. The closest she came was a slender 22-20 badminton victory against Kimi Schnegg but otherwise, she was near perfect.
For Steiner, this also makes up for the heartbreak from the World Championship two years ago where she lost in the final of the Girls U16 World Singles Championship. Now she walks away from Switzerland as a World Champion for the first time.
Paulina Steiner took the silver medal after an impressive +12 win over Schnegg, thanks in part to a brilliant 21-7 tennis set.
The full Girls U18 results are available here.
Girls U16 – Schaedler Overcomes Schnegg and Kozlowska to Win Title
Just over a year ago, Germany Lena Schaedler had never even heard of racketlon. Now, she’s a World Champion. Not only that, the young German won the world title aged just 12 years old.
Schaedler was superb from start to finish, first beating Kimi Schnegg before following that up with a win over squash talent Ewa Kozlowska. The only set that she dropped all day was the squash to Kozlowska. That eventually didn’t matter, as she won the tennis 21-11 to take home the world title.
The battle for second was one of the tightest matches of the day, with Kozlowska edging Schnegg by just one point. Schaedler now has the chance to go for a second world title as she competes in the Girls U13 final on Friday.
The full Girls U16 results are available here.
Girls U21 – Rohrer Crushes Steiner and Lau to Lift Title
With top seed Anna Wall, unfortunately, having to withdraw before the tournament due to illness, the Girls U21 was an open category. In the end, it was Linda Rohrer who cantered to the title with a game built around breathtaking badminton.
The Swiss youngster first dispatched Clarissa Steiner after needing just one point in tennis. She then followed that up with victory over Cherisse Lau, beating both players to six and seven in badminton. For Rohrer, this is a magnificent victory and puts her in the history books alongside greats like Christine Seehofer.
The silver medal will be decided on Friday, with Steiner and Lau facing off in the middle of the afternoon.
The full Girls U21 results are available here.
Girls U11 – Ratzer vs. Zahn for Glory on Monday
Ylvie Zahn put herself in a great position to win the Girls U11 world title on Thursday after defeating both Elin Bandi and Juliette Dübendorfer in impressive style. However, the gold medal does not belong to her just yet.
To win it, she has to beat Scarlett Ratzer on Friday. Ratzer lost to Dübendorfer but beat Bandi by 20 points to keep herself in the running for the title. If Ratzer beats Zahn and Dübendorfer takes out Bandi then we’ll be guaranteed a gummiarm playoff for gold.
However, Zahn will be crowned world champion if she beats Ratzer, regardless of how Dübendorfer does against Bandi. Alternatively, Ratzer can win if she beats Zahn and Dübendorfer loses to Bandi. There is still a lot to play for in the Girls U11 on Friday.
The full Girls U11 results are available here.
Boys U13 – Zahn, Karppanen and Rosenberger into Championship Box League
Jakob Rosenberger is the only seed to have progressed from his group as Henri Zahn and Leo Karppanen both cause upsets in Groups A and B. Zahn took out Nico Jaussi and Mathias Schilling to book his spot in Friday’s three-player shoot-out for gold.
Karppanen also impressed in Group B. He took out both Toni Böhm and Sebastian Janser to guarantee his spot on the podium. Rosenberger perhaps deserves the most credit, despite being the favourite in his group. The young Austrian had to battle through three matches to progress. Rosenberger took out Andreas Kotala, Arthur Batiot and Daniel Ladny.
The three group winners now move on to face each other in a playoff for the title. For one of these three, it’s going to be a Friday that they’ll never forget.
The full Boys U13 results are available here.
Girls U13 – Zahn and Schaedler Face-off in Final
Close friends off the court, Ylvie Zahn and Lena Schaedler will face each other for the Girls U13 world title. Both battled their way through their groups, also Schaedler came very close to missing out on the final.
While Zahn beat both Ewa Kozlowska and Julietta Dübendorfer relatively comfortably in Group B, Schaedler had one of the day’s tightest matches. Playing Victoria Dübendorfer, Schaedler produced a stunning tennis set. The young German won the tennis set 21-7 to secure a +1 victory and book her spot in the final.
It will be an unforgettable weekend for both players. Schaedler already has one world title in the Girls U16 while Zahn has a good chance in the Girls U11. Now, both get to meet for the Girls U13 trophy. An incredibly memorable weekend for both young talents.
The full Girls U16 results are available here.
Boys U16 – Unknown Kiljunen Shocks Dvořák to Reach Final
One of Thursday’s most eye-catching performances was that of Jesse Kiljunen. The young Finn came into this tournament as a complete unknown but performed incredibly well in the Boys U16 to reach the final.
Kiljunen first beat Leon Steiner, before knocking out No.3 seed Lucas Steyer and No.1 seed Lukáš Dvořák in the quarter-finals and semi-finals. On his international debut, Kiljunen has the chance to become a world champion.
To do that, he’ll have to beat Austria’s Leon Sam. Sam reached the final after defeating fellow Austrian Benjamin Radl and Oliver Barton. As the No.2 seed, Sam was projected to reach the final but impressed as he did so and now has a shot at a first-ever world title.
The full Boys U16 results are available here.
Boys U18 – Davidson Survives Scare to Join Harca and Griffiths
In the end, the Boys U18 category ended up exactly how we expected, although there were some close matches on the way. As No.1, No.2 and No.3 in the Boys Singles rankings, Florian Harca, Luke Griffiths and Matthew Davidson were all projected to qualify from their three-player group and play in the championship group against each other.
Harca and Griffiths both clinically strolled through their group. Harca took out Oliver Barton and Cornelius Ried, while Griffiths dispatched Anant Gupta and Jesse Kiljunen without dropping a game. Matthew Davidson had the closest match of the day though, surviving a fantastic performance from Bastian Böhm to win by six points. Davidson also beat Mathis Cenne to guarantee his spot in the final group.
That now leaves the three heavyweights of boys singles battling it out for the Boys U18 title. They’ll each play each other on Friday, with only one walking away with the title.
The full Boys U18 results are available here.
Boys U21 – Harca Emerges from Group of Death to Face Harca in Final
Before the tournament, there were few groups quite as exciting as Group B in the Boys U21. With Matthew Davidson, Martin Abrami, Yannic Andrey and the retuning Tinko Schnegg, it promised to be fiercely competitive.
Unfortunately, Abrami was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an injury and Schnegg struggled to keep up with Davidson and Andrey. That left the Brit and the Swiss fighting for a spot in the final. Similar to the Boys U18 final they played at the World Singles Championship two years ago, it was Andrey that powered through, defeating Davidson to advance to the final.
He’ll take on Florian Harca in that match after the Austrian made light work of Group A. Harca strolled past Anant Gupta before taking out Léon Mamié in an extremely competitive match.
The full Boys U21 results are available here.
Men’s Seniors +40 – Junillon and Koubaa into Final After Action-Packed Day
The Men’s +40 category was undoubtedly one of the most dramatic of the day. The two finalists, Cédric Junillon and Mohammed Tarik Koubaa were right at the heart of it as well.
In one of the most-watched matches of the day, Junillon defeated legendary Swede, Magnus Eliasson, holding his nerve in a breathless tennis set to win 21-12 and secure a narrow four-point victory. Junillon then went on to take out top seed Ray Jordan in the semi-finals to confirm his spot in Friday’s final on his singles return.
Mohammed Tarik Koubaa had an even more dramatic afternoon. First, he survived a real scare from India’s Varinder Singh in the quarter-finals, winning by just two points thanks to a 21-18 tennis set. Koubaa then took out Nico Hobi in the semi-finals – once again by two points.
It is no wonder that Koubaa sunk to the floor and started weeping tears of joy as he won the final point. The Moroccan becomes the first man from Africa to reach a World Singles Championship in the history of the sport, and now faces Junillon looking to write his name in the history books even more.
The full results from the Men’s +40 Singles are available here.
Men’s +45 – All-Swiss Podium Guaranteed
With pre-tournament favourites Duncan Stahl and Jermaine Manners withdrawing in the days before it began, the Men’s +45 became one of the most open categories in the competition. In the end, it is a trio of Swiss stars that have set themselves up to claim the trophy on Friday.
Andre Bandi made light work of Torsten Kuntz and Varinder Singh in Group A to book his spot in the three-player playoff. Fellow countryman Raphael Paglia and Magnus Ekstrand both join Bandi after defeating Conrad Hueckstaedt, Stefan Nilsson, Christian Ried and Magnus Åberg between the pair of them.
None of them was particularly troubled in the group stage after winning all three of their matches. Someone has to lose and someone has to win though. We’ll find out exactly which medal each Swiss player will get on Friday.
The full Men’s +45 results are available here.
Men’s +50 – Semi-Finals Set for Friday Fight
The Men’s +50 semi-finals are set with Volker Sach the only one of the four highest seeds to reach this stage. Sach fought through a real battle in his quarter-final against György Janzer, having earlier beaten Piotr Ostaszyk. In the semi-final, he will take on Jacob Steinmetz. The Dane took out No.2 seed Manfred Grab in the quarter-finals with a dominant badminton performance the main catalyst.
The other semi-final pitches France’s Eric Durand against Sweden’s Henrik Huldschiner. Durand saw off both Dariusz Adam Walczak and Daniel Lipowski, with Lipowski earlier taking out No.1 seed Richard Hobzik. Huldschiner defeated Michael Steiner and Kai Zeuner, thanks in part to a stunning tennis set.
The four will have a busy day on Friday as they complete both their semi-finals and final.
The full results from the Men’s +50 are available here.
Women’s +50 – Shelley Beats Dübendorfer to Keep Hat-Trick Hopes Alive
One week ago, Jo Shelley wasn’t even coming to the World Singles Championship to defend her title. Stepping as a last-minute alternate, Shelly has not only reached the final but done so in an impressive fashion.
Shelley took on Esther Dübendorfer in Group A’s crucial game, a player she had only beaten once before. However, Shelley produced some brilliant badminton, squash and tennis to squeak a three-point victory – something she was delighted about.
In the final, Shelley will take on Heike Voigt. Like Shelley, the German took out a seed in her group, beating Zuzana Vancuríková with ease. Isabella Hubel was the other player to suffer defeat at the hands of Voigt, leaving her with a date with defending champion Shelley on Tuesday.
The full results from the Women’s +50 are available here.
Men’s +55 – Langston Chasing Two Finals While Knaack Knocks Out Kleiber
Much like the Men’s +50, the semi-finals have been set as only four players remain. Thomas Knaack won the battle of the seeded Germans in the quarter-finals, knocking out Frank Kleiber with an 11 point victory. In the semi-finals, he’ll take on Niklas Hägerbrand. The Swede ended any hopes of an all-German semi-final after eliminating Volker Sach in the quarter-finals.
The top half of the draw will see Martyn Langston take on Avi Shemri. With Langston in the Men’s +60 final as well, he’ll have a fiercely busy Friday juggling one match after another in different categories. He reached the semi-finals with wins over Beat Ladner and Guillaume Lahourcade. His opponent, Shemri didn’t need his tennis racket on Thursday. The Israeli beat both Dany Lessard and Ahti Antikainen before tennis, something he’ll aim to do again on Friday.
The full Men’s +55 results are available here.
Women’s +55 – Von Heimburg on Track to Retain Title
Carola Von Heimburg is on track to retain her Women’s +55 world title after a dominant pair of displays on Thursday. The German took out both Zuzana Vancuríková and Nicole Kamphues with ease to leave her just needing a victory over Susan Rutschmann.
Remarkably, all four players are still in contention for the title at this stage, although the loser of Rutschmann and Kamphaus will be knocked out when they meet early on Friday.
The full Women’s +55 results are available here.
Men’s +60 – Peter Sákovics to Face Langston in Final
Peter Sákovics impressed on Thursday as he began his quest to win yet another Seniors World Singles Championship title. The Hungarian took out Brits Bruce Shepherd and Duncan Marlow to reach the final with relative ease.
He’ll have to take out a third Brit if he’s to retain his title though. Martyn Langston eliminated both Dany Lessard and Alan Plater to reach the final, his first at the Men’s +60 age category. Both are previous +55 World Champions. Who will triumph on Friday?
The full Men’s +60 results are available here.
Men’s +65 – Late Start No Bother for Defending Champion King
With a bye through the first round, Graham King’s title defence didn’t begin until 8pm, the last match on the court on Thursday night. That didn’t phase him as he defeated Steen Hesselbjerg to guarantee his spot in the semi-finals.
He’ll take on Julian Clapp in the final four after the Brit impressively defeated Graham Cain. The other semi-final is a Scandinavian showdown between Stefan Blomgren and Markku Merta. Merta needed 10 in tennis to defeat Jean-Robert Fiori while Blomgren took out seed Steve Rayson.
The full Men’s +65 results are available here.
Men’s +70 – Räisänen and Arbuthnot on Course for Title Showdown
Timo Räisänen and Peter Arbuthnot collide early on Friday afternoon with the winner the clear favourite to win the Men’s +70 title. Both players won their opening two matches in the five-player box league to set themselves up nicely for a run at the title.
Defending champion Steve Rayson suffered defeats to both of these two to effectively end his title defence. He’s now chasing a spot on the podium with Geoff Jordan currently on one win and a loss and Jan Stålberg on two losses.
The full Men’s +70 results are available here.
The live blog will return on Friday morning to follow the conclusion of all Juniors and Seniors categories.
The live stream will also begin at 2pm here, covering all the centre court action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer