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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - AGIPI Masters 2012 - Schiltigheim (FRA)

Dani Sánchez, Eddy Merckx and the Koreans

Posted by on January 30, 2012

Dani Sánchez, Eddy Merckx and the Koreans

© Didier Fioramonti
Dani Sánchez shows his big smile after he set for the finals.

SCHILTIGHEIM - The most remarkable of three days playing three cushion in the Agipi arena? The elimination of Frédéric Caudron (number two of the world) and Jérémy Bury (number four), two top players who play their homematches in this room with the famous Agipi team.
The most logical: the seeding of Sung-Won Choi and Kyung-Roul Kim, the Koreans who often have the reputation to be robots, but who showed such a wonderful emotions. They excelled in regular playing, high runs and scintillating battles.
The most surprising: the qualification of Dani Sánchez, who finally penetrated to the finales of the Masters after five more or less disappointing performances and now can show up with the best ten to compete for the main prizes.

The most predictable: the high ranking of Eddy Merckx in his group. The Belgian, who already grabbed the title in his country in a final against Frederic Caudron this year, is a master of motivation and fighting spirit in these kinds of tournaments. He hadn't make a run of ten, strangely enough,  this weekend, but finally he did it in his last match against Bury.
The first of two preliminary rounds ended with wins for Sung-Won Choi (against Caudron), Nikos Polychronopoulos (against Philipoom), Eddy Merckx (50-42 against Bury) and Dani Sánchez (50-47 against HaengJik Kim). That didn't change much in the final score. Only the match between Choi and Caudron was decisive for qualification.

Jérémy Bury needed a little miracle in the B-group to reach the finals by the back door. He had to finish his match against Merckx with a huge advantage and an extremely high average. The Frenchman showed undoubtedly the ambition, but missed the power on the table to let it happen.
The four ranked players all ended with six match points and were close together in average. Choi was the highest with 1.978, Kim ended with 1.918, Sánchez with 1.908 and Merckx with 1.874.
Frédéric Caudron made the highest run with seventeen. Kyung-Roul Kim played the best match in nineteen innings.

Half the work is done now towards the finals. Next month, on 24, 25 and 26 of February, ten other players come to the table for four places in the finals with eight. The ten are: Dick Jaspers, Torbjörn Blomdahl, Filipos Kasidokostas, Marco Zanetti CeNET Lutfi, Martin Horn, Ryuuji Umeda, Javier Palazón, Koong Kang Dong and Tayfun Tasdemir.

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