February 29th of 2020 marked the beginning of a new racketlon tournament on US soil with great potential for growth! The Battle of Rackets tournament was a phenomenal success with 43 participants, making it the largest racketlon tournament in US history! The event was hosted by University of Rochester in Upstate New York in the beautiful Goergen Athletic Center, featuring 4 tennis courts, 5 squash courts, 9 badminton courts and 3 table tennis tables all located directly adjacent to each other. Aside from the venue, the location is centrally located in New England, attracting players from Buffalo, Massachusetts, Long Island, New York City, Ottawa, Montreal, and Rhode Island. This was all made possible by the racket sport clubs of the University of Rochester who reserved the venue and provided balls for matches. In addition, they promoted the sport of racketlon on campus, resulting in ten students signing up to compete!
There were a variety of different draws available, including 4 separate skill groups for men’s singles, 2 groups for men’s doubles, and a seldom-seen women’s doubles draw of three teams! Every player was guaranteed 2 matches per event they signed up for, making for a total of over 70 matches played in 12 hours on a 1-day tournament! The 2019 USA World Championship team was represented well with team members Patrick Moran and Shree Dhond taking first and second in A singles, then coming together to dominate the A doubles draw. On the women’s side, Canadian Oriana Giraud took first place in both women’s singles and women’s doubles with U of R student Fatima Shah as her partner. The other women’s singles finalist, Margaret Lafleur, showed great potential taking second place in her first ever racketlon tournament! She also took second place in mixed doubles with her husband Michael Budd. SUNY Oswego student Brandon Willis of Central New York took first place in the beginner singles with a strong showing in table tennis, and also dominated the mixed doubles, taking first place with SUNY Oswego tennis player Bridget Bender. This tournament was sponsored by Oliver Sport and Tennis Replenish, providing some wonderful prizes for the finalists of each event. Keep an eye out for the bright future of this tournament, potentially becoming the second FIR sanctioned tournament on the continent!
Full results are here :
|Justin D’AntonioHead of Sponsorships | USA Racketlon |
Upstate New York Central Division Director
National Collegiate Table Tennis