Vogel and Griffiths are the 2023 FIR Racketlon World Champions

A full house for both finals during the most important tournament of the year, the World Championships. The whole week had been leading up to this moment, and the quality was outstanding. Let’s see how they did it.

Vogel claims her third title ten years after her last one

Nathalie Vogel was a force to be reckoned with so far this season, and she proved this again by winning her third world title. She faced a strong opponent in Myriam Enmer, last year’s champion, coming back to her best form after being out due to an injury for quite a while. The last time they played, Nathalie won before tennis and that was something Myriam was trying to change.

She started well with table-tennis, playing aggressive and good shots, 21-17 to Enmer. Vogel didn’t really seem settled down in the first half of badminton, a few mistakes, and Enmer took every opportunity she got. After the break at 11-9, Vogel calmed down and started to be more aggressive. She managed to take Badminton 21-12, and created a huge gap between her and Enmer in squash, taking it 21-7. She said that every point she wins in squash is one less in tennis, and tennis is Enmer’s strongest sport.

Vogel only needed three more points in tennis, but that’s not an easy feat against Enmer, who has shown plenty of times she can keep players below three points. It was different this time around, World Championships are something else, there is a lot more tension and a lot more on the line. Vogel took the first point, and didn’t let go. She then won two more points in a row, to secure her third world title. The overall score was +22 (17-21 21-12 21-7 3-0). Silke Altmann defeated Irina Olsacher  +11 (22-24 12-21 21-11 21-9) to finish third.

Women’s draw

Luke Griffiths wins his second World Championships title in a row, beating older brother Leon

Warming-up together before the match like it’s a day like no other, just a few moments before competing against each other in the World Championships final. An exciting but tough day for the Griffiths family, as there can only be one winner. The last time they played was two weeks ago in Roehampton at the London Open, which Leon won by one point. Going into the final, Leon would probably be a bit fresher physically as Luke had some incredibly close matches and he had to play the u21 final earlier that morning.

The final was a Racketlon classic, as both brothers traded point for point in table-tennis. Leon seemed to run away a bit, but Luke would catch up, Leon took a bit of a bigger lead, but with some good defending and accuracy, Luke managed to take table-tennis 21-19. Badminton was close as well, although at some point Luke seemed to run away with it, getting to 18-12. Leon thought differently, he kept fighting and clawed back to 18-18 but it was Luke who took it 21-18 and a +5 lead into squash. Squash was high-paced and saw them trading points every rally. Leon seemed to slightly break away at 10-8 but Luke managed to produce some good shots and take it 11-9. Leon got to 20-19, Luke got it back to 20-20, but it was Leon who took squash and reduced his brother’s lead by two points.

Luke seemed to be very fired up going into tennis, whereas Leon seemed to make some more mistakes than he usually does. Luke stayed composed and took the game to Leon, hitting an incredible volley drop to set up match ball, and took the match 19-8 to secure his second World Championships title. The overall score was +14 (21-19 21-18 20-22 19-8). Jaksland unfortunately had to withdraw for the 3/4 playoff which meant Hageraats finished on the podium.

Men’s Draw

Open Categories – B and C titles for Kanonenberg, Cavé, Duval and Wan

The men’s B was won by Joerg Kanonenberg who defeated Arturs Zaicevs in the final. It was the last match on court and Kanonenberg managed to take it +15 (21-13 16-21 21-9 7-7). Thorsten Lentfer got the bronze medal. After a great run in Roehampton two weeks ago, Pauline Cavé showed she has a lot of potential in her short Racketlon career. She won the Women’s B title by defeating Hong Kong’s Elif Wong +20 (11-21 21-16 21-12 18-2) in the final. Joyce Chan took the bronze medal after she defeated Eefje Henkelman from the Netherlands by +42 (21-4 21-2 21-15).

It was another gold medal for France as Clément Duval defeated Alex Porush from the United States by +17 (6-21 21-7 10-21 5-10). Thomas Mercou finished third beating Bastian Holzhäuser +24 (15-21 21-5 21-7) Wan Yin Lui won the women’s C, beating Johann Fernandes +3 (21-7 11-21 21-13 9-18) in a close final. Titti Wigren beat Christina Suchlich +9 (21-4 9-21 21-17 13-13 for bronze).

Men’s B | Women’s B | Men’s C | Women’s C

Men’s D and First timers titles for Antoine and Kniezek as Ball win’s the gummi-arm playoff and wins the women’s +55

Frederic Antoine got the better of fellow Frenchman Hugo Vernier in the final of the men’s D as he got the win by 3 points. The score was +2 (19-21 21-16 21-8 6-19). UK’s Ronnie Hickling finished third after narrowly losing out on a place in the final by two points. Rostislav Kniezek from the Czech Republic took home the first-timers title, after he beat Tamás Fonyódi +17 (15-21 21-8 21-13 7-5) in the final. Varun Motasha took the bronze medal, beating Geoffrey Bonnamy +5 (13-21 21-8 21-11 7-17). Sarah Ball came out on top in another gummi-arm playoff to decide the women’s +55 champion. The score was even going into tennis, but both opponents served out which meant Sarah Ball won without hitting a tennis ball. Carola Von Heimburg finished second and Heike Voigt finished third.

Men’s D | First Timers | Women’s +55

A huge thank you to all the volunteers, referees, the club, physio and staff at Victoria who made us all feel welcome and helped run this tournament smoothly. We can’t wait to be back next year. There are a couple weeks off now before the next tournament is already on the calendar, the CHA Norwegian Open. Make sure to enter this event soon, it closes in twelve days.

Sanne Veldkamp /FIR Media Officer

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