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Caudron winner, Merckx best player

Posted by on April 28, 2012

Caudron winner, Merckx best player

© Dirk Acx
Frédéric Caudron with the trophee of the last Grand Prix.

GHENT - Frédéric Caudron was crowned as the winner of the Grand Prix in the Gouden Martinus in Ghent. Eddy Merckx was chosen out of five nominees as best player of the year 2011 yesterday evening after the last tournament in the BTS-cycle in Belgium.

The third and last Grand Prix in Ghent was an overwhelming success, especially thanks to the matches leading up to the finals. On the last day was, the stylish billiard room of the Gouden Martinus was even too small to store all spectators. Around two hundred billiards fans were treated on a great night.

Frédéric Caudron was the best on the last day. He defeated Francis Forton in the semis without any problems in nineteen innings: 40-20. The match between Eddy Merckx and Eddy Leppens, which should have been one of the highlights, started very poor with two nervous players at the table. Leppens attacked first with runs of nine and six, that brought him to the finish with nearly two average (40-29 in 21).

,,I had no feeling, no concentration, I didn't feel the balls, but fortunately I could attack just in time'', said Leppens, who made the highest run of the tournament (16) this week against Mottet.

,,But I think I finally earned a place in the final'', concluded Leppens. ,,My currently ranking before the final here was a seventh place in Belgium, but I played the second best average after Merckx.''

The final between Frédéric Caudron and Eddy Leppens could not answer to the high expectations. The players kept balance until thirty points, then the Caudron had a better endrush: 40-32 in 35 innings.

The winner later apologized: ,,With such a fantastic audience, this tournament deserved a better final, but it can happen, we are human beings.''

Caudron spoke during the ceremony about the alarming media interest in his country. ,, This year, we even won the world title, Eddy Merckx and I, but there were no more than a few lines in the newspapers. We could just read that Belgium was the world champion, not even the names of the two players. That's a bad situation. We deserve much more attention for our sport.''

Eddy Merckx, who remains leader of the Belgian ranking after this tournament, was chosen as the player of the year 2011, before Frédéric Caudron, Roland Forthomme, Eddy Leppens and Peter Ceulemans was at the end of the evening. Five players were nominated: Eddy Merckx, Frédéric Caudron (who finished second), Eddy Leppens (third), Patrick Niessen and Kenny Miatton.

The organizers of the Grand Prix 't Fermetje and the Gouden Martinus, with their chairman Jean-Claude Dupont, were praised for the flawless organization and entourage.

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