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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - European Championship Ladies - Zoersel (BEL)

Come and watch girls, at this wonderful EC ladies billiards

Posted by on May 12, 2022

Come and watch girls, at this wonderful EC ladies billiards

© Marja van Nunen
The organizers Danielle le Bruyn and Luc Sebreghts

ZOERSEL - The billiard cafe of Danielle le Bruyn from Zoersel has undergone a metamorphosis. This weekend, the top European women of billiards will be there for the European Championships three cushion. The spotlights are focused on the centercourt with self-built stands, three other match tables in the hall behind, on top players from the Netherlands (reigning champion Therese Klompenhouwer in front), Turkey, Belgium and other European billiard countries. Tomorrow, Friday morning as of 10.30, is the start of the qualifications with a total of 23 players. Danielle le Bruyn, this year she turns 65, multiple Belgian champion, is one of the European coryphées, but most of all she is the amiable hostess this weekend, who understands the art of organizing.

''We had a very busy couple of days'', she says on the day before the kick-off of the European Championships. ''We had to rebuild a lot, we made a real centre court and we hope to have a lot of spectators, so we also made stands.'' The billiard centre De Ploeg is known for its beautiful space with ten billiards, has a number of clubs in the competition with a total of 120 billiard members.

Danielle confesses, on her way to this ladies' championship: ''Of those 120, honestly there are only four ladies. That shows the poverty of women's billiards in our country. I see some new girls coming, now and then, but they don't join, because they have other hobbies or they have to work. We can talk about the development of women's billiards, but we can't take them off the streets, they must want it themselves.'' So come and have a look, girls, at this European Championship, billiards is so beautiful.

There is a nice field of players at this European Championships this weekend, with Therese Klompenhouwer as the absolute contender, Belgian champion Jaimie Buelens, four Turkish contenders and French, Danish and Austrian ladies among others. ''I expect them to arrive today,'' says Danielle. ''This night they are allowed to train a quarter of an hour to get used to the tables. They sleep in three hotels in the area: two of them at two kilometers, one at ten kilometer. And they can get a bite to eat here with us.''

The four 'Verhoevens' have been polished and provided with brand new cloths to welcome the European top players. Danielle: ''I thought myself that I could make some shots at that new material, but it didn't come to that. That is how busy we have been with the preparations''. In that respect, she has a good companion in Luc Sebreghts, who coordinates the volunteers and other matters. The referees are from Belgium itself, the match management is with a real pioneer of women's billiards, Esmee Willems from the Netherlands, who will be assisted by Hans de Bruin of the Dutch three-cushion section.

''It is a new acquaintance with top billiards'', assures Danielle le Bruyn, who organized with her team a World Championship three cushion six years ago, but at another location. ''We had to make an investment, an attack on our budget, but we will make it. The European Federation does not ask for organizational costs and pays for the prize money. And the players themselves have always been used to pay their own travel and accommodation costs. For us, the organization, are the other costs. We have to do it with what we earn with drinks this week. And if we don't make it, I will pay out of my own pocket.''

Danielle le Bruyn runs De Ploeg billiard cafe since 1999; before that, from 1961, her parents were the owners. As a billiard player, she has many Belgian titles to her name and stood on the podium of a World or European Championship several times.

The groups for this weekend's European Championship:
Group A: Therese Klompenhouwer (Neth) Céline Jacques (Fr) Yenny Bajtner (Swe)
Group B: Karina Jetten (Neth) Monika Steinberger (Aus) Nanna Petersen (Den)
Group C: Estela Cardoso (Spa) Helga Mitterböck (Aus) Mirjam Pruim (Neth)
Group D: Irena Michalkova (Czech) Charlotte Sörensen (Den) Monique Wilkowski (Neth)
Groupl E: Jaimie Buelens (Bel) Katja Titze (Ger) Joke Martijn (Neth)
Group F: Marianne Mortensen (Den) Güzin Müjde Karakasli (Tur) Magali Declunder (Fr)
Group G: Arzu Gök (Tur) Christine Morel (Fr) Marie-Rose Rouffa (Bel)
Group H: Danielle le Bruyn (Bel) Gülsen Degener (Tur)

The first matches:
Friday 10.30:
Le Bruyn-Degener

Klompenhouwer, Jetten, Cardoso and Michalkova against winners of earlier matches in the pools.
21.00: last matches of the first day.

the 1/8th finals will start at 14.00 hrs. The last matches are at 20.00.
Sunday the semi-finals are at 10.30 and 12.30, the final at 16.00.

The European podium two years ago in Antalya


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