Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Games - Cali (COL)
Marco Zanetti, inspired by the Italian flag
© World Games
Marco Zanetti, gold medal winner at the World Games on the podium with Eddy Merckx and Glenn Hofman
CALI – The golden era of Marco Zanetti, glorious winner of the 3-cushion event on the World Games in Colombia, is not over yet, and the history books of the sport keep getting rewritten. The Italian Wonder Boy beat Eddy Merckx in the final of this international event, by 40-20 in 16 innings.
The European champion was never under serious threat from the world champion, as he won his fourth consecutive major title. The billiard year 2013, only halfway, will forever be remembered as Marco Zanetti’s year of glory.
For his nation, for his people, inspired by the Italian flag, he added another medal (the 11th) to the total of – for now – the most successful country on these World Games. He will be proud to see his palmares now complete.
The two-time world champion (2002 and 2008) in 3-cushion won the European title for the first time this year in Brandenburg, with a record general average of 2.500. Only the gold at the World games (he won the bronze in Kaohsiung four years ago), was missing on his resume.
More than ever was he the favorite for the title, following his unprecedented winning streak earlier this year: winner of the Lausanne Masters (final against Frédéric Caudron), the Agipi Masters (final against Caudron) and the European championship (final against Christian Rudolph).
His shining form, which he has been able to maintain for months now, was there again at the World Games, played in a beautiful entourage in front of almost a thousand spectators.
Zanetti was given a tremendous reception, and had to put up with all the pressure from the get-go. Unfazed, he ruled supremely in all his matches. Vietnamese debutant Minh Cam Ma was the first victim of his ambition (40-21), next up was Christian Rudolph (40-21), in the semifinal it was Kyung Roul Kim (40-25) and finally, in the final the ruling world champion Eddy Merckx was beaten 40-20.
The contest for the coveted gold was balanced for only eight innings (11-11). From then on, Zanetti took charge with a show of class and power: 17-11, 20-13 and 27-14. He delivered the decisive blow with a run of twelve (39-19 in 15), and crossed the finish line an inning later. He smiled his well known broad smile, and soaked up the appreciation of the Colombian audience.
Belgian Eddy Merckx had to console himself with the silver, Dutchman Glenn Hofman won the bronze.
Eddy Merckx had the best match of the tournament (40 in 11 innings), Dick Jaspers scored the high run (16).
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