Carola Von Heimburg won a dramatic Gummiarm Playoff to win the Women’s B Singles at the IWT German Open, as Guidi Weijel’s triumph in the Men’s B Singles added to the Dutch success in Nussloch.
Von Heimburg beat Zuzana Vancuríková and Alina Reissenauer in the Gummiarm Playoff after all three women finished with two wins and one loss in the Box League.
In the Men’s B, Weijel lived up to his billing as the top seed, winning both his semi-final and final by just one point on an incredible run to the title.
Elsewhere, Esther Dübendorfer enjoyed a perfect weekend with three titles. There was further success for Graham King, Volker Sach, Johannes Sgiarovello, Bastian Böhm and more in the German sunshine.
Better late than never, here is your full report from the IWT German Open Amateurs, Juniors and Seniors categories.
Women’s B Singles – Von Heimburg Seals Victory After Gummiarm Playoff
The Women’s B Singles started innocuously enough through the first two rounds of Box League matches. Women’s +55 Singles World Champion Carola on Heimburg opened with a +5 win over Alina Reissenauer. At the same time, Zuzana Vancuríková beat Paulina Steiner by 21 points.
In round two, Von Heimburg won again, this time by 21 points against Steiner. Reissenauer then kept her chances of a title alive by beating Vancuríková by 16 points with an impressive 21-5 tennis win. Reissenauer secured her second win by beating Paulina Steiner on Sunday morning. However, the drama was in Sunday’s second match.
Von Heimburg and Vancuríková were dead level at the end of their match, leaving them needing a gummiarm to decide the winner. A victory for Von Heimburg would have sealed the title there and then. But it was Vancuríková who won, leaving us with a Gummiarm Playoff.
The four players took to each of the four courts, playing each other at one point in every sport. Masterfully organised by Graham King, Von Heimburg won the Gummiarm Playoff after winning five points, with Reissenauer in second and Vancuríková in third.
The full Women’s B Singles results are available here.
Men’s B Singles – Weijel Wins Second Title in Less Than a Year
Four German opponents, four victories secured, one title bagged. That’s the short story of Guidi Weijel’s run to the Men’s B Singles title at the IWT German Open. But that doesn’t tell the full story.
Weijel’s path to the title involved winning both his semi-final and final by just a single point. He opened with a +20 win over Marco Genzel before fighting to take down Frank Böhm by nine points.
In the semi-final, he played Frank’s son Bastian in an epic match. After losing the table tennis 21-13, Weijel won the middle two sports on deuce, before sealing a +1 victory with a 21-16 tennis triumph. Weijel’s opponent in the final would be Germany’s Tom Branke.
Branke had taken out Frank Kleiber and Markus Klement in his first two rounds, before producing a masterful performance to knock out No.3 seed Leigh Sands in the semi-finals.
In the final, Branke led going into the tennis. Weijel had won table tennis 21-13 but 21-17 and 21-11 losses in the middle two sports left Branke six points ahead. Weijel held his nerve for the second match in a row to win by one point and secure another Men’s B Singles title. His victory also meant that the Men’s A and Men’s B singles were both won by Dutchmen.
The bronze medal was snapped up by Leigh Sands, who beat Bastian Böhm.
The full Men’s B Singles results are available here.
Men’s B Doubles – Carlier and Haynes Run Riot
Few runs were quite as impressive at the IWT German Open as that of Bertrand Carlier and Matthew Haynes in the Men’s B Doubles. The pair produced a string of impressive results to win the title without winning a match to less than 14 points.
The No.3 seeds began with a simple win against Frank Böhm and Thomas Knaack before taking out Tom Branke and Tobias Kreckel in the quarter-finals. Top seeds Frank Kleiber and Leigh Sands came closest to taking down Carlier and Haynes but lost by 14 points in the semi-final.
In the other half of the draw, Korbinian Heim and Markus Klement had to battle extremely hard to reach the final. They won their opener against Austrian pair Matthias Heilbrunner and Johannes Sgiarovello by just two points before beating No.2 seeds Christian Börner and Graham King.
Another two-point victory followed in the semi-finals as they beat Bastian Böhm and Steffen Neumann. In the final, Carlier and Haynes were simply too strong. It was their dominance on the table tennis table that ultimately won the match, with Carlier and Haynes winning 21-2. The rest of the match was completely level, with Carlier and Haynes winning by 19 points to seal their first title together.
Böhm and Neumann beat Kleiber and Sands to secure a bronze medal for Germany.
The full Men’s B Doubles results are available here.
Mixed B Doubles – Dübendorfer’s Perfect Weekend Begins with Mixed Doubles Triumph with Sands
We mentioned in the elite report how Esther Dübendorfer won the Women’s Doubles title. Well, the Swiss star actually enjoyed a perfect weekend as she won all of her matches at the IWT German Open. One of those triumphs came alongside Leigh Sands in the Mixed Doubles.
The duo began with an impressive victory over Alina Reissenauer and Steffen Neumann, ending the hopes of an all-German pair winning the title. With just four pairs in the draw, that left the duo in the final. There, they would face top seeds Zuzana Vancuríková and Richard Hobzik.
The Czech duo were ultimately outclassed by Dübendorfer and Sands in the final. The match was won on the squash court. The Czech duo actually only trailed by one point after the badminton. However, a crushing 21-3 squash win for Dübendorfer and Sands left them with one hand on the trophy. They sealed the victory by quickly getting three points in tennis.
That is a second Mixed Doubles title of the season for Leigh Sands after he also won the IWT Latvian Open crown. Similarly, it’s a second Mixed Doubles title for Dübendorfer, after she won the title at the IWT Swiss Open alongside Anthony Duthuillé.
There was an all-German duo on the podium as Reissenauer and Neumann beat Paulina Steiner and Bastian Böhm for bronze.
The full Mixed B Doubles results are available here.
Men’s C Singles – Sgiarovello Wins First Career Title
The Men’s C Singles was the biggest draw at the IWT German Open, with 24 players vying for the title. Austria’s Johannes Sgiarovello was the last man standing, as he eliminated Sami Tabbara in the final.
Sgiarovello had to progress through four rounds just to reach the final. He opened with straightforward victories over Christian Schlupp, Tino Bieber and Leon Steiner before a thriller of a semi-final against fellow Austrian Leon Sam.
Sgiarovello trailed by five points heading into the tennis but snuck a 21-16 victory, saving a match point to win by one point and reach the final.
His opponent, Sami Tabbara, had beaten a handful of Germans on his route to the final, including two of the top three seeds. Ulrich Schlepphorst was his opening round victim before he took out top seed Thomas Neupert in the quarter-finals. No.3 seed Konradin Suchlich, who had won his quarter-final by one point, was Tabbara’s semi-final victim by seven points.
Tabbara is a fantastic squash player and he demonstrated this in the final by winning 21-2. Sgiarovello had too much in the other three sports though. He won table tennis 21-10, badminton 21-13 and tennis 21-13 to win the overall match by eight points and seal his first title.
Leon Sam took the bronze medal after beating Suchlich.
The full Men’s C Singles results are available here.
Juniors U16 Singles – Steyer Dominates Field
After taking a Men’s B Singles bronze medal at the IWT French Open earlier this year, Lucas Steyer cemented his status as one of the sport’s rising young talents with his performances in Germany.
Steyer was the victor in this four-player box league, winning all three of his matches and dropping just one set in the process. Remarkably, Steyer dropped just three points on the badminton court and 11 on the squash court in his matches against Andreas Kotala, Leon Steiner and Leonhard Prager.
His only loss came on the table tennis table against Prager, with the Austrian winning 21-5. With his table tennis skills, it is little surprise that Prager finished with the silver medal after beating both Kotala and Steiner.
The bronze medal was taken by Kotala after he beat Steiner in the final match of the category on Sunday.
The full Juniors U16 Singles results are available here.
Juniors U21 Singles – Böhm Beats Austrians for Home Title
Bastian Böhm was something of a breakout star in 2021, winning a Men’s B Singles and Men’s C Singles title in Austria and Switzerland respectively. The German made his 2022 season debut at the IWT German Open, playing a remarkable 12 matches in three days.
His lone gold came in the Juniors U21 Singles category. With Florian Harca withdrawing before it began, it came down to a battle between Böhm, Leon Sam and Marwin Steiner-Pöschl. Böhm and Sam both beat Steiner-Pöschl which meant that the match between the two was decisive for gold.
It was a thrilling showcase of racketlon skills, with the match swinging backwards and forwards. Despite trailing before tennis, Böhm was able to secure a +1 victory after winning 21-14. That left the German with the first gold medal of the season; the perfect warm-up ahead of the World Championships.
The full Juniors U21 Singles results are available here.
Girls U21 Singles – Reissenauer Beats Steiner for Title
For the third time this year, we had a one-match shoot-out for the Girls U21 singles title. Cherisse Lau and Bethany Pye won the two titles in Sheffield and London. Now, it is Alina Reissenauer’s turn to be crowned champion.
Reissenauer’s victory came after victory against Austria’s Paulina Steiner. The German actually lost the table tennis 21-16 but bounced back on the badminton and squash courts. Reissenauer won both 21-8 to leave her needing just one on the tennis court, something she was able to do within two points.
A first career title for Reissenauer as she continues her preparations for a first World Championships.
The full Girls U21 Singles results are available here.
Men’s +40 Singles – Port Beats Böhm for Title
At the IWT Swiss Open this year, Jan Port won the Men’s +50 Singles title. Two months later, he can add a Men’s +40 Singles title to his growing collection.
Port dominated the field, beating two Germans and a fellow Czech on his way to glory. Marco Genzel was his first opponent, with Port wrapping up the victory before tennis. In fact, he didn’t use his tennis racket in any of his three matches.
His semi-final was an all-Czech affair, with Port eliminating top seed Richard Hobzik. In the final, Port took on Frank Böhm. The German had beaten Thomas Köppel and Manfred Grab to reach the final but found Port too strong, especially on the badminton court.
Port had won all six of his sets in his first two matches and extended that to nine in the final. He edged the table tennis 22-20 before crushing Böhm 21-3 on the badminton court. The Czech star wrapped up the title with a 21-14 squash win to seal his second title of the year.
Port was joined on the podium by a fellow Czech as Hobzik beat Grab for bronze.
The full Men’s +40 Singles results are available here.
Men’s +45 Singles – Gentile Beats King for Swiss One-Two
With Daniel Schoeman withdrawing from the tournament, three players were left to battle for the Men’s +45 Singles title; Christian Börner, Graham King and Giovanni Gentile.
With both King and Gentile beating Börner, that left an all-Swiss showdown for the title. Gentile won a silver medal at the Swiss Open last year and London Open this year. Now was his time for gold.
Gentile raced into an early lead, winning the table tennis 21-9 and then backing that up with a 21-6 badminton victory. King would need a big win to keep the match alive before tennis. King did win the squash 21-19 but it was not enough. Gentile had a +25 victory before tennis and a first career title.
The full Men’s +45 Singles results are available here.
Men’s +50 Singles – Return of the King
While there was only silver for King in the Men’s +45 Singles title, the former World Champion secured gold in the Men’s +50 Singles.
King’s triumph came after victories over both Ulrich Schlepphorst and Sven Reiter. It should have been a battle between four players but Switzerland’s Marc-Andre Rauber was forced to withdraw before the tournament began.
Remarkably for King, it is his first international racketlon singles title in a number of years. Schlepphorst beat Reiter to take the silver medal in the three-player draw.
The full Men’s +45 Singles results are available here.
Women’s +50 Singles – Dübendorfer Takes Gold
After winning the Women’s Doubles and Mixed B Doubles titles on Friday, Esther Dübendorfer completed her perfect weekend with victory in the Women’s +50 Singles category.
The category was supposed to be a three-player battle between Dübendorfer, Gabi Heufelder and Carola Von Heimburg. However, with Heufelder withdrawing before it began, it became a straight shoot-out between Dübendorfer and Von Heimburg.
The German made the faster start, winning the table tennis 21-18. She was still in the lead after the badminton, despite losing 21-19. Dübendorfer is a superb squash player though and demonstrated her ability with a crushing 21-3 squash win to all but secure the title.
The tennis ended 5-6 with Dübendorfer collecting her second singles title of the season after another victory at the Swiss Open back in June.
The full Women’s +50 Singles results are available here.
Men’s +60 Singles – Sach Dominates Three-Player Box League
Last but not least, the Men’s +60 Singles features three Germans battling for glory. Volker Sach was the top seed and he was joined by Antonio Zeoli and Gerald Seezer.
Sach is the current Men’s +55 Doubles World Champion and he showed every bit of his ability as he rolled to the title in Nussloch. In fact, Sach lost just one of his seven sets, losing badminton to Zeoli.
The final results saw Sach beat Zeoli by 33 points and Seezer by 43 as he marches to an impressive first title of the season. The silver medal was snatched up by Zeoli as he beat Seezer in their contest.
The full Men’s +60 Singles results are available here.
Next up is the FIR Racketlon World Championships 2022. You can keep up with all the latest information here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer