It was semi-final and finals day for the men and women elite categories. The women’s final was on first, after they had played the semi-finals on the previous day, whilst the men had an early semi-final battle to determine the finalists later that day.
Vogel makes it three out of three
Former World Champion Nathalie Vogel took gold in all three categories she participated in this week. The former world no 1 hasn’t played that many tournaments the last few years but is always a very strong contender for the title. She started of well beating the no 2 seed and current world no 4 Kirsten Kaptein +23 (25-23 21-11 21-10). She faced Allègre in the semi-finals, who had a huge battle with fellow Frenchwoman Haurant. Allègre managed to sneak the win by two points to book her place in the semi-final. The score was +2 (13-21 21-11 16-32 21-16). Vogel won her semi-final match in similar scores, +23 (21-3 15-21 21-10). In the final she faced top seed Anna-Klara Ahlmer. Ahlmer has had a fantastic season so far, winning two IWT titles, and started her bid for a third title strongly. She beat America’s Stephanie Chung in her opening round, taking the match +29 (21-18 21-8 21-8) before taking on British teenager Holly Ranson in the semi-finals. Ranson received the wildcard for this event, and she defeated world no 12 Dara Ladner +33 (21-16 21-6 21-8). Ahlmer proved too strong in the semi-finals, taking a convincing win +26 (21-6 21-17 21-4). Ahlmer and Vogel played doubles together this weekend, but now they saw themselves on opposite sides of the net. The last time they played it was Vogel who took the match for 5th place at the 2022 World Championships. Vogel was the stronger player again today, Ahlmer started well in table-tennis, winning it 21-16 but Vogel created a huge gap in badminton, winning it 21-4. She was also strong in squash, taking it 21-13 which meant she only needed 2 points in tennis. The overall score was +18 (16-21 21-4 21-13 2-4). Unfortunately Allègre had to withdraw from the 3/4 playoff against Holly Ranson.
World no 1 and 2 face off in thrilling battle
The men’s elite saw a strong 16 player draw. Luka Penttinen caused an upset by defeating 3/4 seed Ternon in the opening round +5 (21-14 8-21 21-14 21-17) before booking his place in the semi-finals by defeating Max Plettenberg +4 (16-21 21-5 6-21 21-13) in what was another very close match. He faced top seed Leon Griffiths in the first semi-final who won his first two matches quite comfortably, beating 2023 Polish Open Champion Lindberg +24 (21-13 21-9 21-17) in the quarter-final. Leon Griffiths went on to beat 2023 Finnish Open Champion Luka Penttinen _30 (21-16 21-2 21-15) to book his place in the final, setting up a meeting with world no 2 Morten Jaksland. Jaksland also started off strongly, winning his first match +36 (21-12 21-7 21-8) against Michal Kurek before battling past his doubles partner Kresten Hougaard +11 (8-21 18-21 21-11 21-4) to face 3/4 seed Nicolas Lenggenhager in the semi-finals. Jaksland took the match +19 (21-13 11-21 21-9 12-3). The head to head between Griffiths and Jaksland going into the final was 3-3. The last time they played was at the SWT Dubai Racketlon Classic where Leon took the victory +5. It was the same this time around. Leon started well, taking table tennis 21-18 before dominating badminton, taking it 21-3. Squash went Jakland’s way, as it was very close throughout, 21-18. This meant that Leon only needed 4 points in tennis. This was quite a long and tense game, where eventually Leon took the match 4-17 and thereby claiming his first IWT victory of the season. Luka Penttinen beat 3/4 seed Nicolas Lenggenhager +20 (19-21 21-12 21-14 8-2).
B categories – wins for Souin, Tay, Champod/Quiquempois and Vancuríková/Hobzik
Amandine Souin won all her three matches in the women’s B round robin. She beat no 1 seed and runner-up Stine Krogsøe +19 (11-21 21-13 21-3 6-3) and bronze medalist Vancuríková + 19 (10-21 21-5 21-11 7-3). Jimmy Tay was victorious in the men’s B. The Swede created an upset in the quarter finals, beating no 2 seed Nicolas Champod +14 (15-21 21-13 21-17 16-8). He then went on to beat Greg Lorkiewicz in the semi finals +25 (21-7 21-8 19-21) before beating fellow countryman Jesper Hedlund +6 (23-21 21-9 13-21 16-16) in the final. Champod/Quiquempoins beat Luu/Tay in a very tense men’s B doubles final. The match was incredibly close and they won by only one point. The score was +1 (21-17 21-17 16-21 19-21). Vancuríková/Hobzik won the mixed B doubles, beating Haurant/Worobel in the final +7 (21-10 14-21 21-13 10-15).
Men’s C and E – Bäckström and Holdt win Nordic Racket Games titles
The men’s C was a 32 player draw. Swede Bäckström denied home hope Carsten Krog the title, beating him +6 (2-21 21-18 21-9 16-18) in the final. Sebastiaan Luu took home the bronze medal, beating Markus Borg +1 (21-11 9-21 16-21 21-13). Martin Holdt took home the beginners title, in a draw for first-time players to get a feel of what it’s like to play an IWT tournament. He beat Duc Cao in the final, taking it +19 (21-13 17-21 21-9 21-18).
Seniors – titles for Lorkiewicz, Huldschiner, Zeoli, Åkesson/Bäckström, Larsen/Shemri
Greg Lorkiewicz took the seniors +40 title, beating Anders Fyrst +1 in a very close final. The score was (21-11 2-21 21-19 22-14). Henrik Huldschiner was victorious in the seniors +45. Winning the final with a strong performance, beating Per-Axel Giertz +37 (21-6 21-6 21-14). Huldschiner also took the +50 title, winning all his round-robin matches. Shemri won the +55 title beating Simon Lau +3 (21-5 10-21 10-21 21-12) whilst Zeoli took the +65 title, beating Hesselbjerg +37 (21-6 21-12 21-8) in the final. Åkesson/Bäckström took the +45 doubles title, beating Lardet/Worobel +19 (21-14 15-21 21-10 10-3) whilst Ostenfeld Larsen/Shemri took the +55 doubles title beating Bech-Azeddine/Schou Nielsen +12 (21-6 6-21 21-6 7-10).
A great weekend of Racketlon in Denmark! The next IWT tournament is the IWT German Open from June 9-11 enter here.
Sanne Veldkamp/ FIR Media Officer