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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Championship - Bordeaux (FRA)

Semih Sayginer sets the tone for super World Championship

Posted by on November 16, 2016

Semih Sayginer sets the tone for super World Championship

© Ton Smilde/Kozoom
Semih Sayginer is waiting for eye surgery, but was looking bright in his first match

BORDEAUX - The false start of Semih Sayginer lasted only one inning, and was followed by a match of great beauty. The Turk, who turned 52 this week, opened the world championship in Bordeaux with a match of 40 points in 10 innings. Doing so, he beat another former world champion,  Ryuuji Umeda 40-13. ,,I missed the break, which is a bad way to start your world championship'', said the Turkish champion later with a smile. It did not take long for the real Semih Sayginer, with his briljant technique and creative solutions to show up and entertain the crowd. After runs of six and nine, he had already made 23 after 6 innings. Another 4 and a closing 6 gave the match a glorious ending.

The 69th world championship in the Palais des Congrès, was officially opened by UMB president Farouk Barki, Kozoom organisator Xavier Carrer and the president of the French federation, Jean-Pierre Sinanian. A short ceremony smoothly transitioned into action in the arena. Especially in the Sayginer, Morales, Bury, Palazón and Barbeillon matches, the audience was given a taste of what awaits them in the upcoming days. Averages on the first day, on the new, light blue cloths, were considerably higher than they were last year.

Semih Sayginer travelled to this WC with a lot of ambition. He is considering eye surgery, which should help him in his game. ,,I have an appointment in two weeks with a doctor who will treat me. My eyes are getting worse, especially for distance. It makes it so much harder for me to hit the ball where I want, even more so in rooms that don't have proper light. It is not a problem here in Bordeaux, fortunately. The light is fine here, I have not had any problems in this match.'' An operation will follow, in spite of that, most likely in a month. ,,They gave me two options: the placement of a type of miniature glasses behind my eyes, or a laser treatment. Anyway, it will be an improvement. I know how important this is for a billiard player. With perfect vision, everyone in the world can play 0.6.''

Robinson Morales, with only Kozoom advertizing and the Colombian tricoloro on his vest, ran a nice nine off the break and was never in trouble against Ihab El Messery, who beat the dust 40-11 in 14. Quyet Chien Tran is the third player in this flight. Jérémy Bury had a much better start than his young countryman and substitute WC player Cédric Melnytschenko. He had a 14-1 lead (after a run of nine) and that turned into 19-1 in 9. There was never really tension, even though Melnytschenko picked up his game a bit, and it ended 40-24 in 28. Radek Novak won the battle of two outsiders when he beat Riad Nady 40-32 in 32 innings.

Javier Palazón (40 in 17), Jérôme Barbeillon (40 in 20) and Ramon Rodriguez (40 in 21) made the best impression in the early rounds. Rodriguez had a 21-hour trip from Peru, but a day of rest also, and he was up for the job. The new Panamerican champion Hugo Patino, with high expectations on his shoulders, was given a cold shower by Hyung Kon Kim (40-25 in 28) and he has a meeting with Marco Zanetti to look forward to. Spaniard Palazón was much too strong for Cetin Behzat from Switserland, who must have had other hopes for his WC debut than a nasty 27-1 after ten innings. Poor Behzat was free to go after 17 innings and a 40-5 scoreboard.

Christian Rudolph, who had played a strong German championship but a very weak final against Ronny Lindemann, still felt that painful defeat when he played Pierre Soumagne, the Frenchman who replaced Henry Diaz. The youngster put in a good performance and was all smiles afterwards. ,,I got the call on Monday, and text messages, saying I must come to Bordeaux immediatly and play in the WC.  I gave it a lot of thought, because we just had our second child, a daughter. Things at home needed to be sorted out first. It worked out, I am happy to say, and I got in my car and drove to Bordeaux. Thankfully, my first match was not so bad, after many weeks of not playing at all. I am happy to just be here, and participate in my first ever WC.''

Ramon Rodriguez won his match against Christakis Christoforou from Cyprus by a margin: 40-22 in 21. The leading player in that group is Torbjörn Blomdahl. Jae Guen Kim fended off the always dangerous Raimond Burgman (40-35 in 26), Jérôme Barbeillon was applauded for his run of ten, which was instrumental in beating  Erick Tellez from Costa Rica: 40-21 in 20. Arnim Kahofer from Austria had a stopover in Paris on Sunday, and lost his suitcase and cue case, but on the morning of his first match, the French courier services made him happy. Using his own cue, he beat Antoine Gholam from Lebanon: 40-33 in 39.

Vietnamese Minh Cam Ma beat Kostas Kokkoris from Greece 40-27 in 28. Huberney Cataño and Murat Naci Coklu were winners in the last session, beating Lars Dunch and Guillermo Perez. The last two of the six Frenchmen had to battle hard in the evening of the opening day. Vietnamese Quoc Nguyen Nguyen turned out the lights on Jean-Christoph Roux: 40-29 in 24 and a run of 11. Marc Boigneres, local favorite and Andernos player, went neck and neck with Pedro Piedrabuena (30-29), then ran away with a 7, and beat the American multi-champion 40-34 in 27, under thunderous applause of course.

Jérémy Bury was never in trouble against his younger countryman Cédric Melnytschenko

Ryuuji Umeda, like Sayginer a one-time world champion, couldn't match with the brilliant Turkish star player

Javier Palazón launched his tournament with a win in 17 innings

Pierre Soumagne didn't expect to play, but started with a win

Jérôme Barbeillon, again shining for his French audience

Ramon Rodriguez, 21-hour trip from Peru and after one day of rest in perfect form

Jae Guen Kim, just back from the LG U+ in Seoul, defeated Raimond Burgman in his first match

Korean Hyung-Kon Kim, one of the four finalists in the LG U+ Cup, started with a victory over Hugo Patino

Pan-American champion Hugo Patino couldn't yet live up to his reputation

Andernos-player Marc Boigneres defeated the American star Pedro Piedrabuena

Huberney Cataño winner against Lars Dunch

Kozoom director Xavier Carrer welcomes players, referees, sponsors, guests and audience during the opening ceremony of the World championship in Bordeaux.

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