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Dick Jaspers: injections, tests, quarantine, billiards

Posted by on June 12, 2021

Dick Jaspers: injections, tests, quarantine, billiards

© Stefan Osnabrug
Dick Jaspers: a long run-up to the Korean events: never been away from home so many days

GANGWON-DO - The Dutch billiard player Dick Jaspers, number one of the world ranking in three cushion, is facing a long period of 40 days in which he will show up in three Korean events organized by Five&Six International, together with other world top players. This Monday, Jaspers will leave for Seoul from Schiphol in the evening, first he has to fulfil some COVID-19 obligations this weekend: first he has to undergo the test, which will be repeated after his arrival in Seoul. Then, this Sunday, Jaspers will go for his first COVID vaccination, the second will be given immediately after his return to the Netherlands.

''Many things to do, but it has to be done'', Jaspers realises. ''In my opinion, the quarantine is a little bit overdone.'' Therese Klompenhouwer, the ladies world champion, has also been invited and will also face the two weeks of quarantine in Korea. ''For me it's even worse than for Jaspers, because I was already vaccinated in May. I am safe from COVID infections, but I still have to go into quarantine. That means, two weeks thrown away, but I certainly respect the rules of the Korean government''.

Dick Jaspers has never been away from home for so long in his long career. ''The longest I have been away was two weeks at the most. Of course, I am not looking forward to this long run-up, but that is mainly because of the two weeks quarantine.'' Therese: ''I have already been through it once. It is boring as hell, because you are completely on your own. So, I don't want to make it better than it is.''

''We take our trip with five players'', says Jaspers. ''Therese, Eddy Merckx, Roland Forthomme and Dion Nelin leave together from Amsterdam. We will be received there by people from the government and brought to a hotel that will be assigned to us. So, we don't know in advance where we will end up and if we will stay in the same hotel for the two weeks.''

Anyway, the obligatory run-up leads to a nice prospect. From Thursday, July 1, there are first two smaller events: a shoot-out tournament from July 1 to 3 with the 32 players who are invited, then a Pro-am tournament on July 4 with fifteen designated players. The main tournament is from 5 to 18 July. The name of the tournament is the World 3-Cushion Grand Prix, the tournament venue is at Hotel Inter Burgo Wonju.

In the main tournament, four groups of 8 players perform in a full competition: so each player faces 7 players from his group in that first round to matches over 'best of three', the playing time is 25 minutes per set, the player with the most points wins the set. The best four from each group of eight advance to the next round, for which two group of eight are formed and sixteen players will show up according to the same system. The last, final round is with eight: the four best players from the two groups in the second round, who again all play against each other.

This means that the eight finalists will play a total of 21 matches to determine the winner of the tournament. The total prize money is 300.000 US dollars.

Most of the world's top players (with the exception of Marco Zanetti and Martin Horn, who have withdrawn) will travel to the three tournaments. The 32 players compete in two tournaments, 15 players are invited to the Pro-am tournament, the format of which is still to be announced.

The invited players are completed with the Spaniard Antonio Montes, who was on the reserve list. Three Korean players from the top ranking have been invited (Haeng-Jik Kim, Sung-Won Choi and Jung-Han Heo). In the past weeks, the preliminary rounds were played in Korea to appoint the other Korean participants, supplemented by three wildcards from the home country.

The players for the main tournament are:
Dick Jaspers (Netherlands)
Torbjörn Blomdahl (Sweden)
Eddy Merckx (Belgium)
Tayfun Tasdemir (Turkey)
Dani Sánchez (Spain)
Quyet Chien Tran (Vietnam)
HaengJik Kim (Korea)
Sameh Sidhom (Egypt)
Semih Sayginer (Turkey)
Murat Naci Coklu (Turkey)
Jérémy Bury (France)
Duc Anh Chien Nguyen (Vietnam)
Lütfi Cenet (Turkey)
Sung-Won Choi (Korea)
Jung-Han Heo (Korea)
Roland Forthomme (Belgium)
Quoc Nguyen Nguyen (Vietnam)
Dion Nelin (Denmark)
Nikos Polychronopoulos (Greece)
Therese Klompenhouwer (The Netherlands)
Gülsen Degener (Turkey)
Antonio Montes (Spain)

The Koreans who have been added after pre-round matches:
Dong-hoon Kim
Chang-hoon Seo
Bong-ju Hwang
Choong-bok Lee
Wan-youn Choi
And two ladies:
Jin-ah Kim
Ji-eun Han.
The wildcards for Korea are:
Ji-hoon Ahn
Jun-tae Kim
Myeong-jong Cha

The group format in the main event:
Group A: Jaspers, Sidhom, Sayginer, Nguyen Quoc, Nelin, Lee, Wan young Choi, Han
Group B: Blomdahl, HaengJik Kim, Coklu, Forthomme, Polychronopoulos, Whang, An, Jin-ah Kim
Group C: Merckx, Tran, Bury, Heo, Montes, Cho, Jun-tae Kim, Gülsen Degener
Group D: Tasdemir, Sánchez, Cenet, Sung-won Choi, Dong-hun Kim, Chang-hoon Seo, Myoung-jong Cha, Therese Klompenhouwer.

For the event with 15 players are invited:

Jaspers, Blomdahl, Merckx, Tasdemir, Sanchez, Tran, HaengJik Kim, Sayginer, Coklu, Choi, Heo, Klopenhouwer, Ji-eun Han, Lee, Jun-tae Kim.

The hotel in Gangwon-do where the events will be played




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