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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - Superprestige - Lommel (BEL)

Eddy Merckx winner with a Cavendish sprint

Posted by on September 2, 2012

Eddy Merckx winner with a Cavendish sprint

© Harry van Nijlen
Eddy Merckx after his victory in the final against Frédéric Caudron.

LOMMEL – The Belgian champion, former European and World champion Eddy Merckx is feared because of his fighting spirit, his allround quality as a three cushion player, and – on his best days – a sprint to rival that of Mark Cavendish. As if he was launched by a “train” of teammates, Merckx crossed the line in the Superprestige in Lommel.

Amidst the excitement of a capacity-filled billiard room, he had to climb a mountain twice: both in the semifinal against Peter de Backer (trailing 17 – 0) and in the final (trailing archrival Caudron 17 – 5). Both times, the diminutive cue-artist found a lethal extra gear.

Peter De Backer came up a single point short, Frédéric Caudron was brought down by a mighty run of 8, that took Merckx from 33 – 32 to the finish.

It is his fourth victory in ten years of Superprestige, his second here in Lommel.

With still visible traces of shyness, the champion was escorted into the room by two hostesses, for the prize ceremony. ,,This victory is of course not a guarantee for more successes'', he said with his customary modesty.

Eddy Merckx freely admits that his position on the World Ranking has slipped. The next World Championship will be held in Porto, almost immediatly followed by the World Cup in Suwon, South Korea.

,,It is of course a confidence booster'', said Merckx. ,,Especially since it is Frederic I have beaten. Those matches are always special.''

Frédéric Caudron: ,,They are special because they are always high quality. I can recall 5 without thinking, that were really classy. Eddy showed again today what his strength is. I started off very well, but he will always play his own game, waiting for his chances. That makes him so dangerous.''

During the closing of the Superprestige, Eddy Leppens received much praise. He and his family and the numerous volunteers performed miracles to make this fifth edition of the Superprestige in Lommel a success.

,,I certainly hope'', said Pierre Cornelissen, chairman of the BTS, ,,that we will be able to return to this place for years to come. And also, I hope we can long enjoy this remarkable generation of billiard players. It’s sometimes as if they are all from another planet.''

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