IRT Pros Strike Gold at IRF World Championships

Rocky Carson atop the Men’s Singles medal stand. Photo courtesy Cheryl Kirk/USA Racquetball

Rocky Carson atop the Men’s Singles medal stand with Daniel De La Rosa (L) for Mexico. Photo courtesy Cheryl Kirk/USA Racquetball

The 2016 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships ended with the Mexico Racquetball Team taking Overall Gold against the U.S.A. Racquetball Team’s Silver finish while Team USA’s Rocky Carson, 37, of Ladera Ranch, Calif., added to his legendary international record with his fifth-straight Singles World Championship title. 

Rocky Carson Photo Courtesy United States Olympic Committee

Rocky Carson Photo Courtesy United States Olympic Committee.

Carson, the #2 ranked pro on the men’s professional International Racquetball Tour (IRT) who plays for HEAD Penn racquet sports sealed his Gold Medal performance in Men’s Singles with a three-game victory over the IRT’s #3, Daniel De La Rosa, of Mexico 15-11, 5-15, 11-5 who competes for ProKennex racquetball. Carson’s win also helped the Men’s Team bring Gold home over Mexico. In completing what is now a decade of dominance in the bi-annual World Championships, along with his back-to-back Pan Am Games Singles Gold Medals, Carson has cemented his legacy as the most decorated man in the history of IRF competition.

The United States also brought home a Silver Medal in Men’s Doubles where #13 Jake Bredenbeck, 24, of Marine on St. Croix., MN and #20 Jose Diaz, 23 of Stockton, Calif. lost in the finals to Mexicans #4 Alvaro Beltran and #36 Javier Moreno, 12-15, 9-15.

Aimee Ruiz, 41, of Whitehouse Station, N.J. who also competes for HEAD Penn and Janel Tisinger, 33, of Simi Valley, Calif. teamed up to win the Women’s Doubles World Championship. In the final, the duo defeated two-time defending champions Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas of Mexico, 15-11, 9-15, 11-8. For Ruiz, this was her third Doubles World Championship title with as many partners. This victory marked the first World Championship for Tisinger, an accomplishment made more special with her mother, USA Racquetball Hall of Fame member Debra Tisinger-Moore, serving as Assistant Coach.

In the Overall Team competition, Team USA finished second to Mexico as a result of the Gold Medal performances of Carson, Ruiz and Tisinger, as well as the Silver Medal performance in Men’s Doubles

The United States Men won the Men’s Team competition by the narrowest of margins over Mexico. In addition to Carson’s Singles Gold and the Silver Medal in Men’s Doubles, Chris Crowther, 37 of Carlsbad, Calif., added valuable points to the Men’s Team’s one-point victory by reaching the quarterfinals in Singles competition.

On the Women’s side, the Doubles Championship for Ruiz and Tisinger secured a second-place finish. Rhonda Rajsich, 37 of Fountain Hills, Ariz., and Michelle Key, 27 of Gilbert, Ariz., both contributed to the Women’s Team’s Silver Medal in Singles play.

Overall Team Results

  1. Mexico 824 points
  2. United States 670
  3. Bolivia 438
  4. Canada 395
  5. Ecuador 347

Men’s Team Results

  1. United States 393 points
  2. Mexico 392
  3. Bolivia 252
  4. Canada 199
  5. Ecuador 182

Women’s Team Results

  1. Mexico 432 points
  2. United States 277
  3. Guatemala 227
  4. Canada 196
  5. Bolivia 186