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First international racketlon tournament in HK a hit with local players

Hong Kong hosted its first international racketlon tournament last weekend, with players saying they hope the sport will catch on in the city.

Racketlon is a combination of four racket sports: table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis. They are played in consecutive order in a single match, with each carrying up to 21 points. Those who obtain the highest cumulative points win.

“Laying groundwork through this first competition, this sport could spread across Asia,” said Steven Cheng, Chairman of the Hong Kong Racketlon Association and director of the tournament.

International racketlon tournaments had been held in Thailand, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Players and committee members take a group photo on Feb 18 at the end of Hong Kong’s first racketlon tournament.

“Hong Kong is the best place in the world for racketlon,” said Stephanie Chung, 33, who won the women’s singles. “Within a 15 minute drive, I can probably find six to 10 places to play all four racket sports. That’s extremely rare.”

Stephanie Chung (centre) wins women A-elite singles 1st runner up for the first time in the 2024 Racketlon Hong Kong Open.

Chung said that in New York City, she had to drive for an hour and still could not find a real badminton court.

“I have a feeling Hong Kong has the potential to become the No.1 racketlon place in the world,” Chung added.

Steven Cheng (left) said the government will be more incentivised to provide resources for racketlon when more people are aware of the sport.

Cheng said that the government could provide more venues for future racketlon tournaments.

“This year, there are players from 17 countries, which I think helped promote Hong Kong as an international city,” said Cheng. “We hope that the government could allocate more resources to us, allow racketlon tournaments to be held yearly.”

Esther Ma said it is necessary to educate people to play all four racket sports in order to promote racketlon.

One of the difficulties promoting racketlon is that not everyone knows how to play all four sports, said Esther Ma, founder of Harvest Sky Sport Education and Management Company and the leading public relations personnel for the tournament.

Squash is becoming very popular now, and a lot of kids are doing very well in squash, but badminton is more underrepresented, so I think parents, schools, and the physical education teacher community as a whole should educate people at a young age,” she said.  

French Racketlon player, Mandrin Mouchet, serves the ball at a match.

Racketlon is not officially recognised by the Hong Kong government.

“In order to become eligible for the Olympic Games, racketlon needs to be recognised by at least 100 countries, so the sport has to gain popularity in the world first,” said Herman Hu Xiaoming, Vice President of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China.

Herman Hu (left) said he hopes the Hong Kong Racketlon Association could do more to promote the sport.

“I think the Hong Kong Racketlon Association has to promote this sport in Hong Kong first, to attract more people to participate,” said Hu. “I'm sure that the government would step in and support the tournament in the future.”



《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


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