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Carom Billiard - Carom - European Championship - Brandenburg an der Havel (GER)

Dick Jaspers: champion of the world and Europe

Posted by on May 4, 2019

Dick Jaspers: champion of the world and Europe

© Ton Smilde/Kozoom
Dick Jaspers shows his joy to the audience after he won the European title

BRANDENBURG - Dick Jaspers was already the best in the world, after his golden mission at the European championship, the Dutchman completed his trilogy. The number one in the world ranking has now, in 2018 and 2019, also won the two most important and most appealing titles in three-cushion.  Marco Zanetti, who was his opponent in the final, said with a great admiration,  "Jaspers is really the very best in the world." The final at the European championship went to a climax that lasted only two innings. Jaspers and Zanetti were in balance after 14 innings (30-30). Two innings later, after thrilling runs of 8 and 2, Jaspers was the champion.

The cue went triumphantly up, Dick Jaspers (53), from the crazy Dutch billiard province of Brabant, showed his happiness to the stands in the Stahlpalatz arena in Brandenburg and beamed in the quick interview with Kozoom, ''This is a fantastic year indeed with this two wonderful titles. I had not been European champion for a long time, my last was in 2011. Moreover, playing a final against Marco Zanetti at this championship is very hard. He was on his best with his run of sixteen, but luckily I could fight back."

The champion, who took his sixth individual European title in his career, could enjoy it for a short time after the final and then had to leave quickly for the doping control. When he returned to the arena, fifteen minutes later, a Dutch fan asked him, is that exciting, Dick, going to such a dope control? "For me," Jaspers reacted sharply. "What do you think, of course not, I've never used anything in my life."

Not only did Dick Jaspers play great and was he almost unbeatable on the final day, which he started with a win over Ruben Legazpi in the semi-final. ''Before that, against Peter Ceulemans among others, I had to fight hard, because I had a bad start. That was different today: I was able to start very sharply and kept the focus to win." Also in the final, against Zanetti, Jaspers launched himself with an early attack, 16-4 in four innings and 20-9 after the eighth. Zanetti's counter attack with 16, right after the break, brought tension back into the final.

The Italian, who lost his title to Jaspers, but was happy with his second place, said in a comment, ''I was actually a little tired before the final, because I had to play with Italy in the championship for country teams shortly before. The time table was not in my favor. The day was hard for me, I could not rest, didn't even have time to eat. But it's no excuse at all. Dick Jaspers is a great billiard player, the best in the world. We will continue to attack him, but it is very difficult to defeat him."

The final stage up to the final was a real demonstration of Dick Jaspers and Marco Zanetti as well in the matches against Ruben Legazpi and Murat Naci Coklu. The Dutchman, who complained on Friday that he was a bad starter, came furiously out of the blocks now with 9, 2 and 13 in the first three innings. That gave Jaspers a 24-1 lead. "The match was actually played on that score," Jaspers said later. The margin remained on the score board in the last part of the game, in which the Dutchman finished 8 and 5,  40-15 in 8 innings. "It was one of my best matches. My opponent played almost two average and was never been in the match."

Marco Zanetti had an exciting start as well against Murat Naci Coklu: 23-9 in six innings. The match went up with Jaspers performance at the other table in the arena, but Zanetti could not follow the rhythm. The Italian, with a best run of 10, was well ahead of Coklu with 27-12, 29-14, but needed a little longer to finish: 40-28 in 15.

With the ranking points of this European championship, Dick Jaspers remains the number one in the world with a bigger lead over Frédéric Caudron: 496 against 368. Marco Zanetti, sixth before the European championships, lost 80 points, but received 54 as the number two. That keeps him in the top ten in the world.

The 2019 championship in the Stahlpalast in Brandenburg started with 64 players, of whom 32 played the main tournament. The best matches in the pre-rounds were played by Kostas Papakonstantinou and Turgay Orak (30 in 13 innings). Peter Ceulemans shone in the last 32 with a victory over Javier Palazón (40-13 in 13). The other highlights: Semih Sayginer was top level against Filippos Kasidokostas in the last eight: 40-15 in 14 with a run of 19. Murat Naci Coklu beat Tonny Carlsen in that round 40-25 in 13, Marco Zanetti defeated Eddy Merckx in the quarterfinals 40-19, the Dutchman Glenn Hofman won both against Frédéric Caudron and Dani Sánchez, but stumbled in the quarterfinals over Ruben Legazpi.

The best match came from Dick Jaspers: 40-8 in the semi-final against Ruben Legazpi.
Semih Sayginer produced the best run against Kasidokostas: 19.

The final ranking at the Europeans:
1 Dick Jaspers 10-2.352-13
2 Marco Zanetti 8-1.948-16
3 Murat Naci Coklu 6-1.873-9
3 Ruben Legazpi 6-1.666-8
5 Semih Sayginer 4-1.934-19
6 Dion Nelin 4-1.828-9
7 Glenn Hofman 4-1.762-10
8 Eddy Merckx 4-1.455-8
9 Tonny Carlsen 2-2.241-12
10 Peter Ceulemans 2-2.281-9
11 Eddy Leppens 2-1.948-13
12 Dani Sánchez 2-1.756-10
13 Filippos Kasidokostas 2-1.571-10
14 Jean van Erp 2-1.500-8
15 Jérémy Bury 2-1.500-6
16 Birol Uymaz 2-1.306-5.

The two finalists hug after Dick Jaspers made the champions point

Marco Zanetti and Dick Jaspers making some fun after the medal ceremony

Marco Zanetti: I lost my title to the best playeer in the world


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