Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Cup - Bursa (TUR)
Impressive play by Jaspers and Bury
Bury left Jae Ho Cho without a chance
Bursa - At the end of a rollercoaster day in Turkish Bursa, four players are left with a chance of winning the first World Cup of 2017. Jaspers, Caudron, Bury and Kang will decide who can add 80 points to their world ranking on Sunday afternoon. In addition, the World Cup win is also rewarded with 8000 Euro.
After the exodus of Turkish players on Friday, the home crowd would have loved to see Lütfi Cenet advance another round, but they could not help but enjoy the way he was eliminated in the morning session on Saturday. Dick Jaspers turned it into an exhibition: he ran a fifteen and played a brilliant 8-inning match. It was the sixth time in the Dutchman's career, that he produced 40 points in only 8 innings.
Eighth finals, first session:
Jaspers - Cenet 40 -14 in 8
Caudron - Forthomme 40 - 22 in 16
Dong Koong Kang - H.K. Kim 40 - 29 in 31
Blomdahl - J.H. Ahn 40 - 25 in 14.
The only one of the favorites who had a difficult match was Dong Koong Kang. He made enough errors to keep his countrman in the match, but eventually had the class to come out on top. Caudron also played a countryman, and his 2.500 was enough to keep Roland Forthomme at arm's length. Blomdahl (run of 11) was very close to the 3-average barrier when he beat J.H. Ahn, who kept up well.
Eighth finals, second session:
Polychronopoulos - S.W. Choi 40 -40 in 24, then 1-0 in the shootout.
Bury - Merckx 40 - 32 in 18
J.H. Cho - Sánchez 40 - 19 in 16
S.J. Lee - N.Q. Nguyen 40 - 13 in 17
A strong performance by Bury, who was hit with a run of 8 by opponent Merckx, but hit back with a 13. After that, he cruised to victory. Jae Ho Cho had surprisingly little resistance from world champion Dani Sánchez, and the match between Korean Lee and Vietnamese was a complete one-way street.
By far the most interesting confrontation of the session was the one between Nikos Polychronopoulos and Sung Won Choi. Both produced good runs, but they also made unforced errors and the tension was visibly high. Choi showed great character and nerve to equalize with a run of five, and he looked like a certain winner when Nikos only made 1 in the shootout. The Korean ex-world champion missed the break though, and a relieved Poly advanced to the quarters.
Quarterfinals, first session:
Dong Koong Kang - Blomdahl 40 - 37 in 22
Caudron - Polychronopoulos 40 - 35 in 29
Caudron did not have an easy match against the unpredictable Greek, and it was mostly because he misjudged a number of makeable positions. The table, noticeably shorter than yesterday, certainly had something to do with that. A few mistakes in the closing innings ended it for the Greek, and Frédéric closed the door on him.
The other match too, was all about the last innings. Kang - Blomdahl, a confrontation with a history, ever since the sensational world championship final of Bordeaux 2015, looked like a comfortable victory for the solid Korean: 40 - 25. Blomdahl still had the equalizer, and he brought the spectators to their feet with a majestic run of 12. How many players will ever have made two time-shots back to back? It did not help the Swede in the end: he had to settle for lots of sympathy and applause.
Quarterfinals, second session:
Jaspers - S.J. Lee 40 - 25 in 24
Bury - J.H. Cho 40 - 7 in 9
Jaspers could not keep up his lightning pace of the first two matches in his quarterfinal. His opponent Lee was never really threatening, but the match still lasted 24 innings. It meant that Jaspers dropped to a general average of 2.608 (120 in 46), still not too far below the world record.
On the other table, Jeremy Bury impressed with his measured play: he controlled Jae Ho Cho and was extremely productive himself. After seven innings he had 37 points already, with a high run of 8. That means: high consistency and very few mistakes. The stylish Korean could only watch with admiration, and had to shake hands at an embarrassing final score of 40-7 in 9.
The World Cup in Bursa can now lookback at three absolute high points already: the wonderful battle between Garcia and Kang (40-36 in 10), the top performance of Bury (9 innings) and the 5.000 average recorded by Jaspers. It certainly is a rich harvest.
The semifinals on Sunday: (10 o'clock and 12 o'clock Turkish time) are:
Caudron - Dong Koong Kang
Jaspers - Bury.
Sung Won Choi: a painful miss in the shootout
Jaspers: yet another 40 in 8
Dong Koong Kang: a solid win over Blomdahl
Nguyen had an offday in Bursa
Jae Ho Cho eliminated world champion Sánchez
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