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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - AGIPI Masters Finals - Schiltigheim (FRA)

Jaspers-Kasidokostas, Caudron-Zanetti open the Masters

Posted by on March 23, 2011

Jaspers-Kasidokostas, Caudron-Zanetti open the Masters

© Kozoom foto
The four finalists for the first day of the Agipi Masters.

SCHILTIGHEIM - The memory will go back to Rotterdam for a while, to the Topsporthall in 2004, where Dick Jaspers played the final of the World championship against the only twenty year young Filipos Kasidokostas. The Dutchman made that final to a one-man show for his home crowd, the Greek could only watch from his chair. Two years ago, at the World championships in Lausanne, Jaspers had already been eliminated by Christan Rudolph when Kasidokostas won the finale in grand style against Eddy Merckx. It was the final breakthrough for the Greek wonderboy, who is now on top of the world.

Dick Jaspers and Filipos Kasidokostas meet each other again on the first day of the Agipi Masters final tomorrow. They play the first match of the final round at the end of the afternoon (17.00 p.m). Later in the evening there is another loaded match, especially for the many spectators who are supporting the Agipi team. Frédéric Caudron, the leader of the successful formation, is playing against Marco Zanetti, the number two of the team. It is above all the match where Claude Fath, director of the tournament, will look forward too.

Jaspers, the double winner of the Masters, was close to elimination in the previous round, but when it was really necessary, the unprecedented Dutchman found his form and his spirit to survive. He defeated Jeremy Bury, who was already in the next round with a record average for French, with a big score, playing himself in the final round of this week.

Filipos Kasidokostas shone with high runs and spectacular final rushes. The ultimate sprint against Dion Nelin ended on one carom from the finish, against Roland Forthomme, the Greek fought back from a hopeless position. He finally won the group with an average of 2.031, before Sung-Won Choi, who suffered losses against Kasidokostas and Forthomme, but won against Nelin and Hofman. On average he forced the way to the finals.

Frédéric Caudron didn't win the tournament in his home audience so far. Last year he was played the final, but lost against Jaspers. The Belgian started with a loss in the qualifying round against Eddy Merckx last month, but then opened the door to the finales quite easily in his last match against Blomdahl.

Marco Zanetti did the same with an impressive start in his group. He played some matches at a very high level, but after a small, unexpected loss against Michael Nilsson, he finally had to win the battle with Martin Horn. And so the Italian did.

Javier Palazón was vulnerable in his first match against Zanetti, but recovered after three consecutive victories. It was not the least opposition he faced. Martin Horn, Michael Nilsson and Tayfun Tasdemir couldn't stop the young Spanish fury on his way to the qualification. He is the only Spaniard left in the tournament. Palazón also sparkled with a highest run of nineteen.

Jérémy Bury, his opponent on Friday, surprised everyone with a level he had never shown. The Frenchman first beat his compatriot Pierre Soumagne, then the Korean giant Kyung-Roul Kim with a record average (13 innings for 50 caroms) and subsequently Jung-Han Heo. The last match against Dick Jaspers was not important anymore for Bury, only for the statistics. He lost with a big score, but ended the preliminaries with the highest average of all players.

Eddy Merckx was in the score not always spectacular, because he made no runs over ten, but his match against Nikos Polychronopoulos (15 innings) was world class. Moreover, the Belgian didn't loose one match. Only Torbjörn Blomdahl, who already was eliminated at that time, coud equalize to 50-50.

The spectacle can start from tomorrow in the Agipi arena, hopefully with a lot of great performances, many spectators, there will be live stream on television (Eurosport 2) and of course the matches and interviews can be seen on
The quarter final matches are:
Thursday 17.00: Dick Jaspers-Filipos Kasidokostas
Thursday 20.00: Frédéric Caudron-Marco Zanetti
Friday 17.00: Jérémy Bury-Javier Palazón
Friday 20.00: Sung-Won Choi-Eddy Merckx

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