'India can become a global force in racketlon': Duncan Stahl

The Racketlon Federation de Internationale president Duncan Stahl believes racketlon, despite being new to India, has a huge potential to not only produce quality players but also host world-class events.

The Briton’s optimism stems from the fact that the four disciplines in racketlon – table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis – are well established in India. Besides, the Racketlon India Sports Association (RISA), formed in 2017, has already paved the way for some excellent displays by Indian players at international events.

In the recently concluded Thailand Open, Indian players bagged one gold, three silver and one bronze. Sidharth Nandal led the Indian charge clinching gold in men’s amateur doubles teaming up with Hong Kong’s Bridge Yan Kiu Lam before claiming a silver in the men’s amateur singles. Shivashish Behera (silver in men’ singles advanced category), Birendra Shah (silver in Seniors +40 singles), Gourav Rakshit (bronze in Seniors +40 singles) along with Kedar Nadgonde (silver in Mixed A Elite Doubles partnering Philippines’ Glenda Ong) were the other top performers.

“There is no reason why India cannot capitalise on the Challenge Cup success last year and become a global force within a few years, both in hosting World Tour events and competing in the World Championships,” Stahl, who was visiting India for the first time, said during a media interaction.

Former international badminton player and president of RISA, Kaushal K Cheema, marked out Mumbai, New Delhi and Goa as potential venues for international events in the future.