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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - Worldchampionship National Teams - Viersen (GER)

World's for nations: showtime in Viersen

Posted by on March 7, 2017

World's for nations: showtime in Viersen

© Kozoom/Korea
The 2016 podium at the World's in Viersen with the Netherlands, Turkey, Belgium and Austria

VIERSEN - The format has changed, but the event and its location are a fixture in the world of 3-cushion. From Thursday (9 March) to Sunday (12 March), the Festhalle in Viersen, Germany is home to the World championship for national teams. The Netherlands (Dick Jaspers and Jean van Erp) are the title holders. The main difference this year is, that the Scotch Double system is in play from the first to the last round, not just in the knock-out stage. This is the 28th time this championship is held in the German billiard stronghold. Only two years ago, the late CEB president Wolfgang Rittmann expressed his concerns about the future of the mega-event. A rescue operation was started, with the help of sponsor Sparda-bank.

The WC for national teams starts, as always, with 24 teams in eight flights of three. All the major three cushion nations, with the exception of Vietnam, have reported. The Netherlands and Germany were given two spots, they send in an A- and a B-team. That brings the total to 22 participating countries from four continents. Of the top players, the world champion Dani Sánchez from Spain, Eddy Merckx from Belgium, the Koreans Haeng-Jik Kim and Jae-Ho Cho, the Frenchman Jérémy Bury and Quyet Chien Tran from Vietnam are missing in the field.

The organizers can again count on a big turnout of spectators, and a lively ambiance in the Viersen Festhalle. The home country, but also Belgium and the Netherlands will bring supporters that can bring the arena to a boil. The new Scotch Double format has received both praise and criticism. Many fans are afraid the event will lose some of its appeal. The format is such, that both players from one country are in the same match, taking alternate shots. Once a player misses, the two from the other team control the table.

Kozoom CEO Xavier Carrer: ,,Regarding the scotch double system applied to the whole competition, I know that some players or fans don't like it. When the decisive set with scotch doubles appeared 2 years ago, it was the same reaction before Viersen but after the competition, everyone was very enthousiastic with the Scotch Double... How can you judge something you haver never seen? Let's see what will happen this week. I think it can be very exciting to see how players will manage their team and their way of play. It's a small revolution for our sport but who can say that Carom billiards does not need any innovation?''

The Scotch Double matches have a length of 40 points. As in tennis or badminton doubles, the four players are all at the table. Players are expected to form a solid unity. They are allowed to consult each other about the positions on the table, but in practice, that will not happen often. The averages are no longer individual, they are the team result. A world class player can't win all by himself. He's at the table as often as his partner.

The number of title favorites in this format is probably higher than it used to be. The level of play in 3-cushion has been on the increase for years now, and it is hardly imaginable that a single player or country can remain dominant. Sweden won seven years in a row, Belgium did it four times, but those days look to be over. The reigning champion, the Netherlands, will bring the same team: Dick Jaspers and Jean van Erp. The host country Germany last won in 2002, and was eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2015 and 2016.

Dick Jaspers, the reigning champion with the Netherlands

Martin Horn, showmaster in his home land

Martin Horn, lead player of his country: ,,The WC in Viersen is like Wimbledon in tennis, or the German Cup final in soccer. The best players represent their country and battle for medal. The atmosphere in Viersen is unlike anywhere else. I always play with eagerness and maximum motivation there. I was very surprised when the UMB announced the new format, but we'll have to give it a chance. We plat one against one for 361 days of the year, so why not two against two for four days? I am curious to see how it will all unfold. The proper tactic and team harmony will be the key to success'', expects Horn. ,,We must mentally prepare for this format. We have the fans behind us, we have the home advantage. So there's no reason we shouldn't be in the race for the title.''

Frédéric Caudron, first player for Belgium: ,,We must wait what the new format brings, we'll have to improvise for now. I can't really say anything about it ahead of time. It does seem a short distance though, these 40 points, as it's only 20 points per player. We are thoroughly motivated, and we'll do all we can to bring home the world title.''

Dick Jaspers, title holder with Jean van Erp: ,,I am very positive about Viersen. Last year, the Scotch Double system was a good innovation.''

Jean van Erp: ,,I think there will be many quick matches in short innings. The way you are in the match, is totally different. There are moments that you will not be at the table for ten or fifteen minutes. Then it's difficult to keep your focus and rhythm.''

Torbjörn Blomdahl: ,,I have never played in the Scotch Double format, so I can't comment on it until I have. As for preparation: I never see Nilsson, but of course we will discuss tactics before we play. We are going to adapt.''

The live stream of all matches is in the hands of Kozoom. Xavier Carrer: ,,All matches will be streamed on Kozoom of course, but we will be focused on one table to make a multi camera production as usual. For the first time, the final day will be broadcast live in prime time on MBC, the biggest sport channel in Korea. It's a nice challenge for our team.''

The opening ceremony is on Thursday (9th of March) at 11.00, the first matches start at 12.00. The final is on Sunday 12th of March at 15.00.

Kozoom's Korean cameraman Song focused to the matches in Viersen


The group format:

Group A:
Belgium: Frédéric Caudron, Roland Forthomme
Luxemburg: Gérard Goedert, Brice Briere
Czech: Martin Bohac, Radek Novak

Group B:
Germany A: Martin Horn, Ronny Lindemann
Switzerland: Cetin Bezhat, Xavier Grétillat
Greece: Nikos Polychronopoulos, Kostas Kokkoris

Group C:
Netherlands A: Dick Jaspers, Jean van Erp
Portugal: Rui Costa, Joao Ferreira
Colombia: Robinson Morales, Henry Diaz

Group D:
Turkey: Can Capak, Tayfun Tasdemir
Italy: Marco Zanetti, Fabrizio Corteze
Peru: Christopher Tevez, José Torreblanca

Group E:
Denmark: Tonny Carlsen, Alan Schröder
France: Jérôme Barbeillon, Cédric Melnytschenko
Argentine: Fabian Oliveto, Guillermo Perez

Group F:
Spain: Javier Palazón, Ruben Legazpi
Sweden: Torbjörn Blomdahl, Michael Nilsson
Germany B: Dustin Jäschke, Markus Schönhoff

Group G:
Korea: Sung-Won Choi, Jae Guen Kim
Egypt: Sameh Sidhom, Riad Nady
Hungary: Peter Varga, Tamas Szolnoki

Group H:
Japan: Hideaki Kobayashi, Nobuyasu Sakai
Austria: Arnim Kahofer, Andreas Efler
Netherlands B: Raimond Burgman, Barry van Beers.

The Festhalle arena in Viersen for the world championship

Andreas Efler showing his joy last year when he reached the podium with Arnim Kahofer

The tension in the game with Jean van Erp and Dick Jaspers

Jérôme Barbeillon will lead the France team

Sung-Won Choi, leading player for Korea

Tayfun Tasdemir, playing for Turkey with Can Capak

Sameh Sidhom, player for Egypt

Robinson Morales, great Colombian player


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