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Kurt Ceulemans: a World Cup like never before

Posted by on May 24, 2018

Kurt Ceulemans: a World Cup like never before

© Thierry Brenders
Kurt Ceulemans, organiser and entertainer: finally the World Cup returns to Belgium

BLANKENBERGE - The World Cup cycle, with all the best billiard players in the world, finally returns to Belgium after fourteen years. The country of Raymond Ceulemans and the new generation of champions will open its borders for a World Cup in Blankenberge from 11 to 17 June. The organization is in the hands of a real entertainer: Kurt Ceulemans, son of the legend, a billiard player himself, but best known for his organizational talent. ,,We want to organize a World Cup like never before.''

The press presentation is next Wednesday, May 29, in a Blankenberge hotel. Kurt Ceulemans will launch the official announcement of the World Cup return on Belgian ground. The players list, with 150 participants is already known. Fifty players, including 15 Koreans and 13 Turks, are on the reserve list to indicate how the Belgian World Cup is in demand. Frédéric Caudron, the world champion and world's number one, leads the players list. The tournament is played in the Blankenberge Casino, with a capacity for 700 spectators in the arena.

The ambiance will be impressive. Kurt Ceulemans: ,,The main event is presented with a music and light show. I want to create a rhythmic atmosphere during the matches. Therefore we have the right man with Kris Soetens. He works as a sports animator for Antwerp Giants and we try to bring the perfect mix with the billiard sport. We definitely say goodbye to the past of boring billiard arena's.''

The Belgian starters are reduced to 26 players in the pre-rounds, Frédéric Caudron and Eddy Merckx from the world top and Eddy Leppens and Roland Forthomme as wildcards, due to the new rules of the world federation. ,,We expect that the stands will be certainly crowded in the main event. ,,The presale is very well, with ups and downs as we see now during the World Cup in Vietnam, but I'm sure there will be lots of fans from the countries around us.''

,,We will organize this World Cup in principle for three years'', Ceulemans assures. ,,But we will first evaluate after this first edition.''

The main attraction besides billiards is the Players Party on Saturday night. ,,We want to involve the visitors in all the animation during the tournament. There is a Hall of Fame to be visited and Biljardin will install a shop with all kinds of merchandise in billiards.'' The budget, Kurt Ceulemans says, is high, but under controle. ,,We assume that after three editions there will be a fresh wind in the billiard arena with a final win-win situation.''

The big sponsors for this World Cup are City Blankenberge, Sport Vlaanderen and Biljarts Gabriëls. There are many smaller sponsors and partners.

The world top players who have qualified for the main tournament:

Frédéric Caudron (Belgium), Eddy Merckx (Belgium), Dick Jaspers (Netherlands), Haeng-Jik Kim (Korea), Marco Zanetti (Italy), Torbjörn Blomdahl (Sweden), Dani Sánchez (Spain), Jung-Han Heo (Korea ), Jae-Ho Cho (Korea), Sameh Sidhom (Egypt), Murat Naci Coklu (Turkey), Sung-Won Choi (Korea), Jérémy Bury (France), Nikos Polychronopoulos (Greece).

All information, bookings on

Kurt Ceulemans, entertaining the audience


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