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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - European Championship - Berlicum (NED)

Climax with Horn, Sánchez, Jaspers and Sayginer

Posted by on June 17, 2022

 Climax with Horn, Sánchez, Jaspers and Sayginer

© Ton Smilde
Martin Horn shows his happiness after his victory over Marco Zanetti

BERLICUM - The wonderful sport with the last four players in the arena was at the end of the evening very briefly overshadowed by a discussion just outside the hall. Marco Zanetti, who just lost his match to Martin Horn, was furious about the loud music in the Benelux Theatre where the four European championship finalists just left the playing hall as the last four winners: the reigning champion Dick Jaspers, Martin Horn, Semih Sayginer and Dani Sánchez.

The level was exceptionally high in the quarter-finals to close the evening. Martin Horn finished against Marco Zanetti with a masterful 50-38 (2,672 and 2,000), Dick Jaspers was sovereign against Dion Nelin with 50-24 and 2,500 on average, Semih Sayginer won his match against Berkay Karakurt 50-38 (2,000/1,583) and Dani Sánchez was the better of Jean Paul de Bruijn in the final sprint 50-40, averaging 2,000 and 1,666.

That resulted in two fantastic semi-finals on Saturday:
11.00: Dick Jaspers-Semih Sayginer
13.30: Dani Sánchez-Martin Horn

Martin Horn and Marco Zanetti played the most spectacular match of the four encounters in the quarter-finals. The German started with a 10 in the 2nd inning, went to a 22-5 lead and shortly witnessed his Italian opponent's discussion about the music which already started after the first carom (1-0). The match was stopped for a short while when Zanetti screwed up his cue and refused to go on, but later started again after an interruption.

Marco Zanetti went in pursuit, came from 38-27 down with a run of 9 to 38-36 in 13 (averages at that time 3,100 and 2,700), but when Horn scored another 7, the finish came in sight. The German was strong from start to finish and certainly was the well deserved winner.

Dick Jaspers had a fluent start against Dion Nelin with 20-8 (after run of 10), ran out with runs of 5, 6 and 8 and crowned the match in the 20th inning: 50-24 in 20. The second Dutchman in the final field, Jean Paul de Bruijn, fought with open weapons against Dani Sánchez, the four times world champion like Dick Jaspers, and remained in the match for a very long time.

Dani Sánchez quickly launched his match with 11-0 in 3, De Bruijn came back with small runs to 25-19 in his advantage. The match kept going up and down: Sánchez started the counter and again past the Dutchman (40-34 in 20) and then went through the finish line after runs of six and four: 50-40 in 25/24.

Semih Sayginer and Berkay Karakurt, a seasoned and a debutant Turk at this European championship, went on and on until halfway the match, in the end Sayginer was superior after four misses with 21 points in the last six innings for 50-38 in 25/24.

Marco Zanetti started a long dialogue after the match, first with Diane Wild, the European president, later even more strongly with Harry Mathijssen, the organizer of this European championship. The core of the Italian's protest: ''I am one of the best billiard players in the world, I come here to play billiards and not to listen to loud music from 40 years ago during my match. So, again I challenge the international federations, the world and the European federation to change the rules. I did so one year ago, writing a letter to Farouk Barki from UMB, but I never received an answer. I strongly protest against what is happening here. I tell you: imagine if this kind of music is played at Wimbledon or Roland Garros.''

The protest will undoubtedly have a consequence, because Marco Zanetti will continue the discussion with the World Federation. He heard the preliminary reply of Harry Mathijssen, who assured: ''I tell you, Marco Zanetti, I surely will not organize any more tournaments if music is no longer allowed to be played. Times have changed, people don't just want to watch billiards and sit on the chairs in silence. I am afraid that you, Marco Zanetti, will have to adapt, not the organiszers.''

He should not think, said Harry Mathijssen later, that we are stuck in the seventies with our sport ''We have our culture in the Netherlands, I think we are doing great. I have been to a World Cup in South Korea and the piano music they play there, annoys me to no end. And in the World Cup in Vietnam, they blasted out a bucket of noise and the whole room cheered for every point. We do it the way we do it here in the Netherlands and no sweet Marco Zanetti can stop that. And I want to emphasise again that we don't play disco music in the arena, no loud music either, but normal, popular music and no tribal or disco music. I also want to tell Marco Zanetti that not even one other player, not even top players, complais about the music.''

Marco Zanetti's final word: ''Billiards is a sport with a lot of action, passion and emotions, and also focus. I can tell you that I am one of the top-level players who shows his real passion and emotion to the people in the stands. Fortunately, we don't have all players with a poker face in a championship like this Europeans. Many people love me and my game because of that passion, others, fI hope not so many, hate me for that behavior. We do respect each other, organizers and players, but I will always advocate a sport that is worthy of top sport and that we don't have to play in an arena looking like disco music.''

The most notable matches in the eighth finals were the thriller match of Berkay Karakurt and Eddy Merckx, which ended in 50-49 for the Turkish youngster. Michael Nilsson started his match with Dani Sánchez with a run of 19, the best in the tournament, in the third, led 22-5, but had a very poor second half and was trampled by Sánchez 50-32 in 19 (2,631 for the Spaniard).

Marco Zanetti had the best average in that round in his match against Rui Manuel Costa: 50-21 in 15/14, averages 3,333/1,500. Semih Sayginer defeated Tayfun Tasdemir in a Turkish fratricide 50-38 in 20 innings.

Dick Jaspers, an excellent victory over Dion Nelin

Dani Sánchez had the better final sprint than Jean Paul de Bruijn

Semih Sayginer outplayed two country men: Tayfun Tasdemir and Berkay Karakurt



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