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Carom Billiard - Pentathlon - Dutch Championship Pentathlon - Berlicum (NED)

Raymund Swertz takes his first allround title

Posted by on April 1, 2018

Raymund Swertz takes his first allround title

Ton Smilde/Kozoom
Raymund Swertz after his victory in the Dutch pentathlon championship

BERLICUM - The 29-year-old Raymund Swertz is the Dutch champion in the pentathlon for the first time in his billiard career. The championship in five different disciplines resulted in a final between two Limburg players: Raymund Swertz from Afferden won the final race against Dave Christiani from Heerlen: 6-4. ,,I am very happy with this title, because it is a great championship and I never won it before.''

The 'Limburger', commercial employee by profession, characterized the pentathlon as a mentally tough tournament. ,,The level was very high with some great rivals like Dave Christiani, Sam van Etten, Jos Bongers and Michel van Silfhout. They all can play a match in 1, 2 or 3 innings. It is especially important to mentally deal with that. I once lost a final in the pentathlon against Christiani. This victory feels wonderful. The switch to three-cushion has made me stronger in that game type and also in one cushion, in which I played around 15 average.''

"The most tiring in the pentathlon are the moments that you are forced to sit on your chair by your opponent'', Swertz said afterwards. ,,Then, it is often difficult to mentally recharge. In the last rounds, I heard from all players that they were pretty tired. But still, I will always play the pentathlon, because it is such a nice meeting in all game types. The focus in the coming years will increasingly be on three cushion, but I will always continue doing this.''

The national pentathlon final, formerly the Grand Dutch, was held with eight specialists in the classical games in Berlicum. The marathon of matches, in which the players first met each other in the preliminaries and then in the final rounds in the free game, two balk-line games, one cushion and three cushion. The tournament was interrupted for one hour on the final day, because a referee became unwell and had been removed. The score in the final was in balance at that time (4-4). After the break, Raymund Swertz showed himself the best in the decisive game, the one cushion: 100-59 in eight innings. On Saturday-evening, both players won a discipline: Swertz the balk-line 47/2, 200-47 in 1 inning, Christiani the three-cushion, 30-26 in 25 innings.

On the final day, the two finalists were in balance in the first part. Christiani won the free game in one inning 300-3 and Swertz the balk-line 71/2, 150-88 in 4 innings. The pentathlon couldn't have wished for a better apotheosis. The one cushion was a hard fight, in which Swertz had the longest breath and Christiani had to bow to the new champion.

Raymund Swertz is the successor of the 21-year-old Sam van Etten, who was eliminated in the preliminaries in this tournament. It is a small miracle that Swertz only gained his first title in the pentathlon after the hegemony in the last ten years of Henri Tilleman, Jean Paul de Bruijn and Dave Christiani. The versatile technician Swertz, with his girlfriend Jorien van Mil as his biggest fan, is seen as one of the best, if not the best all-round player. He became eleven times national champion in different games, three times European champion in the balk-line games and gained many titles in his young years.

Dave Christiani won the title in the pentathlon, which is played every two years, twice before: in 2012 and 2014. Initially he did not belong to the eight finalists, but two days from the start he was still invited to play instead of the 66-year-old Wiel van Gemert. ,,I did not have time to train, but I was happy as a child that I could play this tournament'', Christiani reacted.

With his routine, the Limburger again put himself in the spotlight and finally in the final. He defeated 61-year-old Jos Bongers in the cross-final 8-4, where Raymund Swertz joined the for the final by a victory over his teammate Michel van Silfhout 7-3. The battle for third place between Jos Bongers and Michel van Silfhout was won by Van Silfhout, who took the shoot-out in the 71/2 after 6-6 in the regular match with 30-8 in 1 inning.

Sam van Etten won the battle vs René Tull for the fifth place 8-0. Ferry Jong defeated Gert-Jan Veldhuizen for the seventh place 7-3.

The final ranking:
1 Raymund Swertz
2 Dave Christiani
3 Michel van Silfhout
4 Jos Bongers
5 Sam van Etten
6 René Tull
7 Ferry Jong
8 Gert-Jan Veldhuizen.


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