WUTTO Nordhorn Brettchen Open 2015 at 25./26.04.2015

Yohan Lecomte and Reginald Kraaijenbrink are the winners at WUTTO Nordhorn Brettchen Open

Nordhorn (HH). As in the previous year at WUTTO Nordhorn Brettchen Open, that tournament for classic table tennis in Germany, the victories in the two main classes went to players from France and the Netherlands. Yohan Lecomte from STT Amiens on Saturday managed a title defense in the Hardbat I-Class, while in the clickball class on Sunday with Reginald Kraaijenbrink of TTV Hercules Terborg last year's runner-up prevailed.

For the first time this year in Nordhorn, at both days of the tournament each player had to play with uniform bats. No player could use his own bat, but had to play with the ones lying on the table. This did not prevent defending champion Yohan Lecomte, who has specialized in the game with the pimpled rubber rackets as 60 years ago, to remain unbeaten in Nordhorn's hardbat single events. In the semifinals of the open class Hardbat I he won against Matthieu Wegh (Taverzo Zoetermeer/NED) in the deciding game like in the other semifinal Markus Grothe from NRW club Schwalbe Bergneustadt did versus Damian Musial from Solingen. In the final, the Frenchman took a fast 2:0 lead versus the hardbat newbie Grothe before the defense strategist from Bergneustadt indeed achieved one winning game, but not more. In the preceding doubles final the series winner Ulrich Waterman (TuS Bexterhagen) had prevailed alongside Damian Musial for the sixth time in the last nine years and prevented like last year a double triumph by Lecomte, who this time started at the side of Matthieu Wegh.

In the Hardbat II competition (up to Q-TTR 1600) the earlier Nordhorn player Hendrik Gerrietzen (TTC Volkringhausen) won against Horst Ristau (TTG Versmold), having previously dominated the doubles final at the side of his brother Friedrich of the host club SV Vorwärts Nordhorn against Matthias Paggel/Tore Schwefer (TSV Krähenwinkel-Kaltenweide/DJK Gravenhorst). So Friedrich Gerrietzen managed 10 years after his first double success the second victory, and Hendrik Gerrietzen threw in individual semi-finals last year's winner Matthias Paggel out of the race.

The last year's runner-up Dietmar Erke (TTV Emsdetten) dominated in the Hardbat III class (up to 1400) the singles in front of Sonja Schenk (Blau-Gelb Darmstadt) and the doubles at the side of the third-placed Harry Acker (TUSEM Essen), bringing him there a successful title defense. For veteran Rudi Knospe from the host club at his tenth participation in NBO the second place in the doubles and rank 4 in singles remained.

In the Hardbat IV class (up to 1200) with a lot of young players from Nordhorn with Sebastian Wanscheer also last year's second placed won this time over Vladimir Nagel with whom he could together win the doubles as in the previous year. With the doubles victory Vladimir Nagel managed a tournament victory in each of the last three events.

On Sunday it worked for Reginald Kraaijenbrink at the second attempt: After the 2nd place last year behind compatriot Arnoud Meijer the leader of the WUTTO world ranking list won on Sunday in clickball's singles final with standardized sandpaper bats like 100 years ago over the Saturday winner Yohan Lecomte with 3:1 games. In the semifinals, both kicked out with Pascal Naumann and Chance Friend the two best players of the Regionalliga team of TTC Kerpen Illingen who had travelled from Saarland to Nordhorn with four of their players. In the clickball doubles final there was not a single German player. Here was Kraaijenbrink (on the side of Kelvin Heemstra/Taverzo Zoetermeer) the victor over Lecomte, who lost as the day before the doubles final alongside Matthieu Wegh and thus stand in all four finals of the two main classes.

While the first-time implementation of all classes within the WUTTO tournament series brought a total win of 16 starters more than a year earlier, which means a new record for the tournament in total, but with six different starters from foreign countries (5 Dutch/1 Frenchman) the hoped participation of foreign players remained slightly below expectations. Considerably more would it have been if there had not yet taken place another WUTTO tournament in Harkstede in Groningen at the same time, whose appointment has been announced significantly after the Nordhorn one. And like last year, none of the leading German clickball players had found their way to Nordhorn and tried to compare with the foreign guests.