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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Cup - Hurghada (EGY)

Eddy Merckx is back on top of the world

Posted by on December 7, 2013

Eddy Merckx is back on top of the world

© van Nijlen
The top four players on stage after the World Cup in Hurghada

HURGHADA - The best Eddy Merckx performance ever in a World Cup was rewarded by the win in Hurghada. The two time Belgian world champion beat Tayfun Tasdemir in the final: 40-22 in 16 innings. His tournament stats were impressive: 200 points in 90 innings, a grand average of 2.222.

,,The best tournament average I have ever played'', Merckx said later, in front of the crowd. The Egyptian spectators welcomed him as a great champion, he was surrounded by reporters and photographers in front of the podium and dealt with it uncomplaining and professional, a smile on his face.

His career just had a short dry spell, after his previous successes. Two world titles form the highlights in his career, the last one won in Portugal in September 2012 (Villa Nova de Gaia). His last World Cup win was two years ago, in Trabzon. The top 12 position of one of the best Belgian players in recent history slowly started to come under pressure, but after this victory in Hurghada, the man who was named after the greatest cyclist of all time is back at the top.

Which is where he belongs, and Eddy Merckx showed that in the way he played his matches by the Red Sea border, focused from the get-go. On his way to the gold, no opponent could really threaten him. Turk Ahmet Alp lost 40-8 in 14, Korean Jung Han Heo got closer but lost 40-33 in 14, Lütfi Cenet got as far as 40-18 in 21, Sung-Won Choi was beaten 40-30 in 25, and Tayfun Tasdemir in the final was no match for Merckx.

He was the better player from the start, with runs of 5 and 9 to lead 21-9, and after a short comeback from Tasdemir (21-17) again in the home stretch. The stoic Belgian, with his stylish, penetrating stroke ran away from his opponent making it 32-20, 38-20 and finally 40-22.

Merckx did only meet one top 10 player on his way (Sung Won Choi), because the others all tripped and fell early. Jérémy Bury and Dick Jaspers in the first round, then Torbjörn Blomdahl, Filippos Kasidokostas and Marco Zanetti, and finally, beaten by Tayfun Tasdemir, the most successful Belgian in recent years: Frédéric Caudron.

Tayfun Tasdemir effectively brought down the world champion, but could not repeat that tour de force in the final. The other Belgian came back at him with a vengeance, stylish, swift, superior.

This tournament was the last in the cycle that saw Blomdahl being crowned a winner twice: in Antalya and Peloponesse. The Swede was already a certain winner of the overall World Cup after the semifinal of Medellin.

It was his eleventh career overall World Cup victory, the first being in 1988, when he won four World Cup tournaments, as he did in 2007. This year's other winners were Dong Koong Kang in Korea, Frédéric Caudron in Colombia and Eddy Merckx in Egypt.

Frédéric Caudron now has 456 world ranking points, and remains firmly in the nr. 1 position. Filippos Kasisokostas now has 329 and goes to nr. 3, at the expense of Jérémy Bury (7th with 282). Torbjörn Blomdahl (406) is second after Caudron. Four and five are Marco Zanetti and Sung-Won Choi with 317 and 286.

Eddy Merckx received another award after the completed World Cup cycle: best match of the season (40 in 7 innings, 5.714), Jérémy Bury won for high run: 24.

Next year there will be six tournaments for the World Cup: Istanbul, Athens, Guri, Antwerp, Medellin and Hurghada.

The top 16 in Hurghada, and their averages:
1 Eddy Merckx, België, 2.222
2 Tayfun Tasdemir, Turkije, 1.876
3 Frédéric Caudron, België, 1.985
4 Sung-Won Choi, Korea, 1.704
5 Vinh Ly The, Vietnam, 1.716
6 Quyet Chien Tran, Vietnam, 1.500
7 Lütfi Cenet, Turkije, 1.361
8 Hyung Bum Hwang, 1.289
9 Marco Zanetti, Italië, 1.707
10 Jung Han Heo, Korea, 1.697
11 Filippos Kasidokostas, Nederland, 1.578
12 Torbjörn Blomdahl, Zweden, 1.533
13 Murat Tüzül, 1.526
14 Kostas Papakonstantinou, Griekenland, 1.523
15 Jean Paul de Bruijn, Nederland, 1.290
16 Birol Yumaz, Turkije, 1.230.

The top ten of the World Cup cycle:

1 Torbjörn Blomdahl 246 points

2 Frédéric Caudron 160

3 Eddy Merckx 150

4 Jérémy Bury 134

5 Dong Koong Kang 130

6 Filippos Kasidokostas 124

7 Sung-Won Choi 122

8 Tayfun Tasdemir 113

9 Dick Jaspers 106

10 Marco Zanetti 80.


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