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Year of Jaspers, Caudron, Merckx and Sayginer

Posted by on January 4, 2019

Year of Jaspers, Caudron, Merckx and Sayginer

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Dick Jaspers, the number 1 in 2018, after his victory at the World championship in Cairo

KOZOOM - For many of the top three cushion players, 2018 has witnessed a drastic revolution in billiards. Big money has entered the sport in which Raymond Ceulemans, (greatest champion ever), use to be sent home after victories in world tournaments with televisions, bottles of wine, flowers and most of all bombastic trophies. The exceptions, for which the top was invited years ago, were the Crystal Kelly tournament, the Agipi tournament and at the end of the last century the BWA tour with a small selection of professional players.

A shiny future, with an unprecedented increase in prize money and a wide range of tournaments, was launched last year by the UMB (world federation) in cooperation with Kozoom International. The McCreery tournament in New York was ground-breaking, with 150,000 dollar for the winner and a total of 600,000 dollars. But other UMB tournaments and the new Masters series have been upgraded and make it much more attractive for players to give it all for a professional career in three cushion.

The big predictions, announced at the end of 2017 with highly rewarded tournaments, have all been realized. The UMB turned out to be a brilliant negotiator and brought the solution to an almost escalating conflict with the Korean billiard federation. A big fight threatened in the billiard sport, but could be averted. Maybe that was the most important success of the world federation in 2018.

The improved climate also led to the come-back of players who disappeared from the world stage. Semih Sayginer, Dion Nelin, Filippos Kasidokostas and Martin Horn are the main examples. Sayginer made the most rapid advance to the world top, Filippos Kasidokostas surprised the world (forced by a physical problem) playing top world class averages with his 'wrong hand' and even played the final of a World Cup, Dion Nelin showed his wonderful talents again in world tournaments and Martin Horn won a World Cup, in La Baule, with victories over Frédéric Caudron, Torbjörn Blomdahl, Marco Zanetti, Jung-Han Heo and Jae-Ho Cho.

In the summer, the McCreery Champion of Champions in New York showed the world an amazing new look with special effects images. Twelve players competed for a total prize money of 600,000 dollars, of which Frédéric Caudron, the eventual winner, took 150,000.

The Belgian beat his countryman Eddy Merckx in the final. On the podium were also Dick Jaspers and Semih Sayginer. These four players are the absolute stars of the year and shared almost all major victories. The trophies of Jaspers, Caudron and Merckx: five of the seven World Cups, the World championship, two of three 3CC Masters, the Verhoeven Open, McCreery and Lausanne.

Semih Sayginer does not show up in the winners' lists of 2018, but is certainly one of the 2018 stars. He started his come-back a little more than two years ago and has now risen to fourth place on the world rankings and played the best World Cup match ever when he beat Dick Jaspers in La Baule 40-25 in 6 innings.

The World championship in Cairo was won by the Dutchman Dick Jaspers. For the fourth time he stepped on the highest stage of the most important tournament in the world. The year 2018 began for Dick Jaspers with his fantastic world record in the German league, where he beat Andreas Efler 40-0 in four shots (10.000 average). In Cairo, Jaspers was in excellent form playing 2.353 average over seven matches. In the final, he defeated Jérémy Bury in the shoot-out 3-2 after a phenomenal final sprint in the equalizer. The number three in Cairo was Semih Sayginer. The world champions in the ladies and juniors in 2018 were Therese Klompenhouwer and Myung-Woo Cho.

The twelve players at the Mc Creery Champion of Champions in New York



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