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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - Superprestige - Lommel (BEL)

Belgians historical the best, Koreans now on top

Posted by on August 28, 2012

Belgians historical the best, Koreans now on top

© Kozoom photo
The Belgian top players at the start of the Cuvino Superprestige in Lommel.

LOMMEL – Is it safe to say that the nr. 1 country in the world of three cushion is bringing its 16 best players in the ring (in Lommel) to compete for a prestigious title? No it isn’t! With Frédéric Caudron, the world’s nr. 1, the Belgians have the best player and they can summon up 10 others to rival the best countries in the world, but the strongest three cushion nation?

For a number of years already, that country is South Korea. Kyung-Roul Kim being the flagbearer, followed by the likes of Sung-Won Choi, Jae Ho Cho, Choong Bok Lee and youth world champion Haeng Jik Kim, the Koreans are firmly on top of the table.

Nevertheless, the Cuvino Superprestige does showcase a collection of established names and upcoming talents, such as Frédéric Caudron, Eddy Merckx, Eddy Leppens, Peter Ceulemans, Jef Philipoom, Roland Forthomme and ten other quality names. They will compete for the title won last year by Caudron.

The Belgians have by far the most impressive three cushion history: their hegemony started with Rene Vingerhoedt, world champion in 1948 and 1960, but the glory years were those belonging to Raymond Ceulemans, who was almost invincible from 1963 to 1990, in his favorite discipline.

Frédéric Caudron is now wearing the emperor’s crown, but in numbers, Belgium is no longer the dominant country. Korea is, but what is missing for them is title-success in major championships.

The 5 best Koreans are in better positions than next competitor Belgium.
If we combine the best 5, we arrive at the following total:
7 Sung-Won Choi, 8 Kyung-Roul Kim, 9 Jae Ho Cho, 16 Choong Bok Lee, 19 Dong Koong Kang, making a total of 59.

The 5 best Belgians:
1 Frédéric Caudron, 12 Eddy Merckx, 18 Eddy Leppens, 23 Jef Philipoom, 27 Roland Forthomme, bringing the total to 81.

Third place for 5 best players: Turkey:
13 Tayfun Tasdemir, 14 Murat Naci Coklu, 15 Lütfi Cenet, 21 Adnan Yüksel, 32 Savas Bulut.
Total for the Turks: 95 punten.

The top 5 of the top 5’s is completed by The Netherlands and Spain.
The Dutch have Dick Jaspers (2nd), Raimond Burgman (26), Jean Paul de Bruijn (33), Jean van Erp (37) and Glenn Hofman (38), for a total of 136 points.
Spain with Dani Sánchez (4th), Javier Palazón (17), Ruben Legazpi (31), Antonio Ortiz (41) and Jose Maria Mas (99) for a total of 192 points.

The number six is Colombia with Carlos Campino (30), Andres Naranjo (35), Heriberto Aristazabal (44), Robinson Morales (46) and Henry Diaz (47), a total of 202 points.

Possibly the biggest surprise is Egypt, at place 7 on the list. With Sameh Sidhom (28th), Riad Nady (61), Khaled Salem (86), Ihab El Messery (87) and Ragdi Henri (103), they score a total of 365 points.
We all know that Egypt, in all fairness, is not one of the top 10 countries in three cushion. The reason could be that they had the benefit of soms wild cards for World Cups and World Championships.

The top 5 countries in the world:
1 South Korea (59 points)
2 Belgium (81 points)
3 Turkey (95 points)
4 Netherlands (136 points)
5 Spain (192 points).

Far behind are the French, because even though Jérémy Bury is in top ten of the world (fifth), Jérôme Barbeillon at 39 and Jean Reverchon at 59, but then there is a gap to Joel Switala who's 88 in that ranking and Xavier Clausse even at 338. The Greeks and Germans have top payers with Filippos Kasidokostas, Nikos Polychronopoulos and Martin Horn, but hardly have other players in top of the rankings.

The Germans - for intance, could bring a strong line-up to the table with Martin Horn, Christian Rudolph, Markus and Stefan Galla, Thorsten Frings, Ronny Lindemann and Markus Dömer.

This list does of course not paint a 100 % accurate picture. Think for example of Semih Sayginer, no dount a top 10 candidate, who has not been active in the World Cups for several seasons. The same goes for Dutchman Frans van Kuyk, who only played the Hurghada World Cup last year.

Pedro Piedrabuena is also way too low on the list (67), but then the naturalized American hardly ever gets awarded a wild card.

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My Comments

Sameh Kamal
Sameh Kamal
Why are you really saying this about Egypt?????
I really don't know the real reason to say that Egyptian players got too many wildcards???
For your information,the only player that took wildcards from Egypt is Sameh Sidhom and he took these cards,just like many other players from other countries for their improvement in playing at a young age.
Correcting your information,no other player got as many wildcards as Luis Aveiga!!!
It would be fair for Billiards to say something after really checking if it is true or not,or is there any other reason to say this wrong information about Egypt specially???

Message 1/4 - Publish at August 28, 2012 3:43 PM

Wild cards
I must agree with you, Sameh, when you mention Luis Aveiga. And it's very strange for sure, because he didn't show up in some tournaments where he was invited by a wild card.
I want to tell you that - when I met a lot of top players in recents weeks - many of them were complaining about the fact that the Egyptian and Chilean players at the World Championship in Portugal really don't have the quality names as many others in the world. And we don't even speak about more Belgians, Spaniards or Dutch players, Let's think about Pedro Piedrabuena, the very talented American, for instance.
I just wanted to explain that Egypt - of course - is not a top ten nation in three cushion, but obviously there are other reasons that they are the number seven in the nations raking. And like you, I really can't find another reason.
If I'm wrong, you may correct me of course. Then I say sorry. The Egyptians, for sure, are very sympathic players and all of us would like them to climb up to the top of the rankings in the upcoming years.
So don't worry, we will support them. I just articulated what many top players have told me.

Message 2/4 - Publish at August 28, 2012 4:29 PM

Sameh Kamal
Sameh Kamal
Top players
Dear Frits,some of these top players that you meet and talk to,are part of the problems that face Carom billiards nowadays.They really mix personal problems with some of the officials in the world of billiards,and try to attack them in any way.
The answer to these players who said the example of Pidrabuena,is that Pidrabuena or any American player,should be nominated by the CPB and they don't do this,so what is the connection between the Egyptians,belong to CEB and Americans,belong to CPB??????????these players should blame CPB.
More about the top players and the problems billiards face and more answers,i will tell it to you in personal,maybe you will understand more that being a top player is not always necassery saying the the right thing and many times there are things hidden in why they say this,i will tel this to you in person.
I want to thank you for your effort and work in the world of Carom billiards,i really appreciate it and hope to have many people like you,trying to really fid the real problems in billiards and try to help in it.

Message 3/4 - Publish at August 28, 2012 8:04 PM

Wrong methodology used by Fritz Bakker
Players should be compared under the same criteria. Korean players have the luxury of collecting points in Asian Championships, which is basically an all Korean event. On the other hand the European championship is not only 'the toughest competition there is', but some of the top players like Leppens, Yuksel, Forthomme, Legazpi, Hofman and Nilsson were not even allowed to attend it.

Let me make a statement by following Mr Bakkers logic: Kronlacher, Sidhom, Piedrabuena, Christoforou are much better players than Caudron, because they are all national champions and Caudron is only number two in his country.

Btw, Sidhom's wildcards are well deserved considering he would have been the African Champion (80 points right there) if they had a confederation. Bury must have received more wildcards than anybody in the world before he became a ranked player.

Message 4/4 - Publish at September 5, 2012 1:13 PM

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