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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Championship - Sharm El Sheikh (EGY)

Dick Jaspers (56), world title and double at the Red Sea

Posted by on December 11, 2021

Dick Jaspers (56), world title and double at the Red Sea

© Paul Brekelmans
Dick Jaspers with his fifth world gold in the Sharm El Sheikh arena with Murat Naci Coklu and Martin Horn

SHARM EL SHEIKH - The 56-year-old Dutchman Dick Jaspers is again the best billiard player in the world on two fronts. At the 73rd World three cushion Championship in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, started with 48 players, Jaspers captured his fifth world title this Saturday afternoon by winning the final against 47-year old Turk Murat Naci Coklu: 50-47 in 32/31 innings. On the UMB world's list, the most prestigious ranking, Jaspers already was the number one in the most popular discipline in carom billiards. Swedish giant Torbjörn Blomdahl was dethroned in Sharm El Sheikh as world champion this week.

The new champion, Dick Jaspers, was on the podium with Murat Naci Coklu and German Martin Horn in the arena on the banks of the Red Sea. Italian Marco Zanetti was missing in the ceremony, because his 98-year old mother Lilly died during his last match.

Dick Jaspers made his way to his fifth world gold on a course in which he defeated Korean Haeng Jik Kim, Egyptian Sameh Sidhom, Frenchman Jérémy Bury and in the semi-final the German star player at this event, Martin Horn. His opponent Murat Naci Coklu won in the last phase against Peter Ceulemans, the Belgian revelation who also played a draw against Jaspers, Choong Bok Lee and Marco Zanetti.

The final match ended like so many other games in this championship: two players alternating in a favorable position, with always changing chances until the last, unusually exciting innings. The golden final came in sight on a levelled score of 41-41, after Jaspers with a mighty run of 14 had come back from 37-26 behind to 40-37 in his advantage. Coklu took the lead again at 43-41, Jaspers fought back to 45-45. The Dutchman then shone twice with an inimitable ball, forced his Turkish opponent to counter attack, but scored the winning two caroms at 48-47.

Dick Jaspers said in his commentary, right after the ceremony: ''I did not play my best tournament, I had to work and fight very hard, but in the end I could win. I am very happy with that. I played two finals in two tournaments, the World Cup and the World championship. And I constantly had to think about my father, who recently died. He was always watching and cheering me when I played for a title somewhere. He was critical, honest, but also very happy when I won. I really dedicate this world title to him.''

He also confessed: ''I have played a few matches at this World championship where I thought it was going the wrong way for me. I made it through on willpower, because I never give up. I have always played with the good mindset, always eager to win, my concentration optimal. And now I did it again, in this World Cup and the World Championship. What a great time, I'm happy to go home again, but what a huge success I have achieved in these to events Egypt. In the final match with Coklu, I often thought: he plays better than I do, he has such a nice stroke. But then it came to the end, I won it again, on willpower, never giving up.''

Murat Naci Coklu, the great runner-up: ''It was so close and I had a chance to win, but I could'nt. We both had many mistakes in the game. But anyway, second place is also good, but this kind of chance rarely comes in life. Thank you very much to everyone for their support.''

The only Dutch world class player, nicknamed the Flying Dutchman on the world stage, was at this World Championship the epitome of mental strength, resilience, all-round class, which never lets him down in battles with the world top players, and of insatiable ambition. Over the years, Jaspers has become an all time champion, with so many victories in World Cups, World Championships and major international tournaments, which made him one of the big money makers.

In the two turbulent years that a professional organization was founded in South Korea, mainly with Asian billiard players, with Belgian world player Frédéric Caudron and a dozen European subtop players, Dick Jaspers has remained loyal to the world federation UMB. His explanation: it is the only real world federation, recognised by the International Olymical Committee (IOC).

There, on Saturday, he was crowned world champion again, a title that Jaspers won before in 2000 (Saint Etienne), 2004 (Rotterdam), 2011 (Lima) and 2018 (Cairo).




Murat Naci Coklu-Marco Zanetti 50-47 (32/37)

The little Turkish billiard player, who does not (yet) belong to the seeded top of the world rankings, reaches his first World Cup final in his career. Murat Naci Coklu, two times World Cup winner, crosses the threshold to a World final with the victory over two-time World Champion Marco Zanetti. The match win costs blood, sweat and tears, the performance is not of the highest level after what the two rivals have shown in the previous days. But there is plenty of tension, especially at the end of the match. Marco leads 18-10 in ten innings, but then enters a period of 5 points in 12 innings (7 misses), allowing Coklu to come back and take a 33-23 lead. Marco revives again with an 'eight', which leads to a 48-42 in favour of Murat and after 3 and 5 from Marco 49-47 on the scoreboard. The M&M's go into a gruelling end. Murat misses his match ball, due to a kiss, Marco finishes his run of 5 with a ball played too softly and finally Murat scores the winner.


Murat's wife Emel: putting the name of her husband at the World championship schedule to be the first in the final

Martin Horn-Dick Jaspers 45-50 in 25

Martin Horn's brilliant match towards the final day (50 in 12) was not a coincidence. The German, in an excellent form, has a negative balance when it comes to matches against Dick Jaspers, but now feels in the ideal position to hurt his eternal rival. That scenario unfolds after a levelling first half, in which 10-10 and just after the break with 25-16, the score runs to 26-26 after 17 innings. Then, Horn explodes, as he did before with his magnificent 20 against Tasdemir. He increases his leading score with a run of 13 to 39-26. Dick Jaspers looks desperate from his chair and needs the magic of one of his phenomenal come-backs. The moment of that counter occurs in the 20th inning. Torbjörn Blomdahl, commenting on the match, warns the viewers. ''Jaspers' second half is always better than his match start and nobody in the world can close a 20 points gap better than the number one in the world.'' The scoreboard is at 42-30. The outgoing world champion is right. Dick Jaspers first misses after 5 (42-35), then after 6 and he is back in the match (42-41). The finish of the flying Dutchman is fantastic: he leads 46-42 after five consecutive misses by Horn and then it's Jaspers' time to finish with 4: 50-45 in 25.

Pictures: Paul Brekelmans and Hervé Lacombe


The 73rd World Championship, which will be remembered as the tournament of high runs and sublime matches, ended today (Saturday 11 December). When the gunpowder had cleared, people were already talking about a historically strong event. The highlights were saved for the last days. Martin Horn played the 50 caroms in 12 innings in his match with Tayfun Tasdemir for the quarter-finals on Friday night. That was the best match ever at a World three cushion championship to 50 caroms: a 4,166 average. The brilliant run of 20 to start the match for the German, was the highest ever at a World Championship. Before that, the record was held by Sameh Sidhom in Bordeaux and Tonny Carlsen in Cairo.

The World Cup and the World Championship in Sharm El Sheikh had already shown many high runs. In the World Cup, there was Torbjörn Blomdahl's 22 and Peter Ceulemans' 19. At the World Championship, Martin Horn scored 20, Murat Naci Coklu and Rui Costa 15 and Choong Bok Lee 14 (and Jaspers 14 in the final match) to name the best runs.

The preliminaries were launched by an interesting fight, in which Torbjörn Blomdahl, the reigning champion, had to qualify for the knock-out stage by winning over Frenchman Gwendal Maréchal. The four best ranked players, Torbjörn Blomdahl, Dick Jaspers, Marco Zanetti and Eddy Merckx, all started the championship with a draw. Peter Ceulemans, who quickly grew out to the new idol of the Belgian billiard fans, held Dick Jaspers to a draw, Ruben Legazpi held Blomdahl to 40-40, Michael Nilsson did it with Marco Zanetti and Rui Manuel Costa, with a run of 15, held Eddy Merckx to a shared win. With those 4 times 40-40, this World championship got a historic scoreboard very early on.

Murat Naci Coklu got the best average with 4 match points and a 2,424 average. Semih Sayginer, the World Cup winner, disappeared from the stage by two losses against two outsiders in the field of top players: Riad Nady and Mauricio Gutierrez. Roland Forthomme went out the tournament in the group of death with Dion Nelin and Choong Bok Lee.

Marco Zanetti (50 in 14) and Tayfun Tasdemir (50 in 17) were the leading stars on average in the first knockout round with 32 finalists, in which Dick Jaspers knocked the highest ranked Korean, Haeng Jik Kim out and Martin Horn started his victory tour with a win over Dani Sánchez. Torbjörn Blomdahl had to give up his title, which he had enjoyed for almost 400 days, after losing to Eddy Merckx.

The same Merckx was eliminated one round later in the best sixteen by Tasdemir. Choong Bok Lee, the revived star of the Koreans, was the only one from his country after that round who was still going for the podium. He was beaten by Murat Naci Coklu in the quarter-finals, in which Marco Zanetti (against Legazpi), Dick Jaspers (against Bury) and Martin Horn (with the world match against Tayfun Tasdemir, 50-22 in 12, series 20) qualified for the battle for world gold.

The new world ranking:
1 Dick Jaspers 534 points
2 Marco Zanetti 371
3 Dani Sánchez 314
4 Haeng Jik Kim 282
5 Eddy Merckx 276
6 Quyet Chien Tran 270
7 Murat Naci Coklu 265
8 Martin Horn 254
9 Semih Sayginer 250
10 Jérémy Bury 245
11 Tayfun Tasdemir 239
12 Sameh Sidhom 232
13 Jung Han Heo 231
14 Torbjörn Blomdahl 218
15 Sung-won Choi 205
16 Myung Woo Cho 202
17 Duc Anh Chien Nguyen 201
18 Lütfi Cenet 193
19 Jun Tae Kim 162
20 Dion Nelin 152
21Nguyen Quoc Nguyen 150
22 Nikos Polychronopoulos 134
23 Pedro Gonzalez 121
24 Trung Hau Do Nguyen 118
25 Erick Tellez 104
26 Peter Ceulemans 98
27 Chang Hoon Seo 92
28 Antonio Montes 90
29 Can Capak 89
30 Ruben Legazpi 89.

World Cup players in top 50:
31 Riad Nady 88
33 Jose Juan Garcia 87
34 Wan Young Choi 87
35 Roland Forthomme 81
36 Michael Nilsson 80
37 Arnim Kahofer 80
38 Javier Teran 77
39 Rui Costa 76
40 Choong Bok Lee 68
41 Jacob Haack Sörensen 67
42 Ronny Lindemann 66
43 Gökhan Salman 64
46 Ragay Henry 64
47 Gwendal Maréchal 62
49 Dustin Jäschke 56
50 Mauricio Gutierrez 55
50 Peter De Backer 55



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My Comments

UMB under IOC !!!
As billiard has never been in Olympics, I am impressed to read UMB is an IOC organization.
Last Tokyo Olympic, surfing, sports climbing, skateboard, BMX were included.
I heard brakedance(breakdance?) will be in 2024 Paris Olympic.

Billiard has quite longer than those sports, I guess.
If so, the world billiard organization must wake up and do the work to make billiards into Olympics.
If unable, the world billiard house must admit they are not capable of handling the mission.

Please find right persons to fulfill the mission. If not, disassemble the house and build a new one before it gets too late.
No shame and work ethics are poisons to billiard world. What do you think?

Message 1/1 - Publish at December 12, 2021 7:51 PM

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