Nordhorn Brettchen Open 2003 at 17.05.2003

Gernot Metzenbauer and Lars Brinkhaus with the first double victories in the Nordhorn Brettchen Open

Nordhorn (HH). In the third implementation of Nordhorn Brettchen Open, the most important hardbat table tennis tournament in Germany, with Gernot Metzenbauer from the Hannover Oberliga team of SG Argestorf-Sorsum for the first time a player succeeded both in the singles and in the doubles competition. In his first hardbat tournament participation Metzenbauer neither in the singles final against the Iserlohn Jörg Boden from the Bezirksliga team of the TTV Letmathe nor in the doubles final at the side of Nikolai Marek (SV Bolzum) against Jörg Boden and Christopher Pläster (TTF KiK Bönen) lost any game. Winning the doubles was a successful revenge for the final having lost one year ago at the same place with other partners and against different opponents for last year's second division player Nikolai Marek after reaching the fourth place in singles.

This time the organizing SV Eintracht Nordhorn welcomed many new hardbat fans. A total of 40 active and 10 young players from Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, including four female players, were gathered on Saturday in Nordhorn to determine the best in the game with the "Brettchen" called pimpled rubber bat with short pimples outwards and without sponge. These very simple bats, having been the standard in the table tennis world until 50 years ago, cause a very different game than the today's more technically souped rackets with super grippy and turbo-charged surfaces.

47 of the 50 starters, many of which are located in the fourth to sixth division, do not use the hardbats in their other table tennis competitions. And yet they could deal very well with these much slower and more or less spinless rackets with which they were able to keep the predominantly older three real hardbat players away from the first ten places.

With the 15 year old Nordhorn player Lars Brinkhaus from the Verbandsliga team of SV Olympia Laxten in the inaugural youth competition the high favorite prevailed. Brinkhaus had already won the doubles title two years ago at the first implementation of the hardbat tournament and probably would have had chances to win the lucrative prize money this time in the men's category. But he preferred the sure win of the singles and doubles competition in the junior class when he had to deal in the singles final with Daniel Lammers (TTC Nordhorn) and in the doubles final at the side of Daniel Berens (SV Eintracht Nordhorn) with Daniel Kunert/Peter Riekhoff (SV Eintracht Nordhorn/ASC Grün-Weiß 49 Wilsum) exclusively with players from the hardbat stronghold Grafschaft Bentheim.

Both in the men and in the youth category the players at the lower positions during the tournament had enough opportunity to get used with the hardbats provided by the organizer if needed. This was also supported by the tournament system as in the applied continued elimination system the tournament did not end for the third and fourth of the preliminary round groups and the loosers of the main round, as all positions including the rearmost were determined exactly. And for the real hardbat beginners so the tournament became really interesting towards the end, when they met with the opponents of equal playing strenght.

After numerous hardbat tournaments limited to individual clubs or regions have been launched in Germany in the last two years, the Nordhorn Brettchen Open have been established as the largest trans-regional hardbat tournament. Eagerly awaited is now the resonance of the also nation-wide hardbat tournaments at 29.5. in Berlin-Tegel and at 14.6. in Düsseldorf, where the leading German table tennis club Borussia Düsseldorf will take up the new boom for the first time with its own hardbat tournament. And the SV Eintracht Nordhorn is now looking for the best date for the fourth implementation in spring 2004.