You’re aware of decathlons, pentathlons and triathlons.
But what do you know of racketlon?
Racketlon is a combination sport where you play four racket sports in sequence from the lightest paddle to the heaviest: table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis.
A match consists of four sets running to 21 points in each sport. A two point margin is needed to secure a set.
Each player serves two points at a time from each side of the court—except in ping-pong.
The winner is the player who secures the most points—in total.
The Racketlon website elaborates on the more interesting aspects of the sport:
“The fact that in each individual sport a mediocre player can challenge a top player – on equal terms! The guy may even be on the world ranking in one of the sports – as long as the outcome of the overall match is unclear that set will still make up an interesting game! And this has significant implications for the tactical aspects of the game; It is one thing to play well against a player that is your equal but it is an entirely different matter to deliver a top performance against someone who is far below (or above) your own standard.
A second special characteristic of racketlon is the fact that all points count equal. In any of the individual sports, say tennis, you can afford loosing some points at some stages with no implications for the overall match whereas other points (e.g. set or match points) carry much more weight. A clear indication of this is that a tennis player may well win less points in total and still win the match. In racketlon all points are – to a much greater extent – equally important. Most racketlon players would agree that this has clear implications for how each of the games are played. ‘Racketlon badminton’, for example, seems like a whole different ball game compared to normal badminton not to mention ‘racketlon tennis’. If this is a pure psychological or, in additition, a mathematical consequence of the racketlon counting I leave open at the moment but it is beyond doubt, however, that a tennis gummiarm (Swedish for ‘rubber arm’ referring to the behaviour of the arm holding the racket at the time of ball impact) and accompanying ‘chicken’ play is a surprisingly common sight in racketlon contexts. In a tight match the concluding tennis event is often a matter of extremely tightly strung nerves. A lost point is a lost point and can never be compensated!”
India has a champion navy officer, Ashutosh Avinash Pednekar, who won medals in the over 45 and men’s amateur category at the Nordic Racket Games held at Vejen, Denmark on May 28 and 29 and at the Super World Tour – King of Rackets tournament held at Oudenaarde, Belgium from June 3 to 5.
He won gold at Denmark in both categories and gold and silver in Belgium.
The Commodore is looking forward to being the first Indian to win gold at the World Racketlon Championships scheduled later this year in November at Germany.
Speaking to SportsKeeda, he said:
“He gave me the interesting aspects of this sport and I got all the details through internet.I realised if I had to take part I need to have some strength in table tennis, a sport which was new to me. I gave myself six months to train hard and when I was confident I had touched reasonable level thought of my next step of participation.”
Ashutosh was already a keen squash and badminton player.
Can Ashutosh deliver on his promise of gold at the World Championships?
“I have planned to sharpen my table tennis skills with a professional trainer and keep in good touch in the other three.”
Go well, Ashutosh, Lone Ranger of Indian Racketlon!