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Double gold for Dani Sánchez in Antalya

Posted by on February 23, 2020

Double gold for Dani Sánchez in Antalya

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Dani Sánchez after his glorious victory in the World Cup in Antalya, following the European title for national teams

ANTALYA - The glorious winner that Dani Sánchez has always been, is back from being away. The Spaniard, 45 from Barcelona, ​​four-time world champion in his career, won the World Cup in Antalya this Sunday afternoon in a final with Dick Jaspers (50-35 in 28 innings). It was the second great win for Sánchez after the European championship for national teams that he won last week with his countryman Ruben Legazpi. The last World Cup victory of Sánchez dates from 1063 days ago in Luxor, also in a final against Jaspers on March 26, 2017, in which the Spaniard set the world record general average with 2.777.

Directly after the final, Dani Sánchez' majestic World Cup victory brought deep emotions to his face. Looking into the cameras, the Spanish lightweight said that he was looking back at very turbulent months. ''My father died late last year, I know he helped me from heaven'', Dani could barely hold his tears. ''I won two major tournaments in one week, I can say I am back in the top of the world ranking. And I am happy, very happy with these great successes.'' The podium after the World Cup in Antalya was completed by Dick Jaspers, Murat Naci Coklu and Haeng Jik Kim. The Turkish Federation ensured an excellent week in Antalya with the organization of the European Championship for national teams, the European Championship for women and finally, to close with the World Cup.

Dani Sánchez faced Jaspers in the final, who was almost unbeatable in the knock-out rounds with brilliant averages. The Dutchman seemed on his way to his 26th World Cup victory in the long history, but Sánchez took his 13th victory, which he had to wait for so long. On the final day, he first defeated Korean HaengJik Kim 50-48, in the final Dick Jaspers ran into a super motivated and strong Spaniard. The final started with a leading position for Jaspers, 15-8 in 6, Dani came back with a short attack of 4, 6 and 2 to 22-21, Jaspers again took the lead at 32-27, but towards the end, Sánchez crowned his final rush 10, two innings before the finish. Dick Jaspers, last year's overall World Cup winner, only could score 1 point in his last 8 innings.

The final, historical final in Luxor in 2017, with Sánchez' world record, was won in the final against Jaspers 40-28 in ten innings. Sánchez and Jaspers met up in 7 World Cup finals so far, Sánchez is leading 4 to 3 now. The historian, who also analyzes World Cups, reported shortly after this final: "In the sixteenth century, the Dutch also were defeated by the Spanish commander Cristóbal Mondragón, just like today, exactly on 23rd of February."

The Antalya podium L-R with Dani Sánchez, Dick Jaspers, Murat Naci Coklu and HaengJik Kim

Dani Sánchez in the last part of the final match against Dick Jaspers

The preliminary stage was dominated by two Vietnamese with their traditionally long names: Hyung Phong Linh Nguyen and Tran Tanh Tu Nguyen. The unknown Hyung was topping the ranking on the first two days, both times with 1.875 on average. TTT, as he was popularly called, started his victory series on the third day of the tournament with 1,714, beat Semih Sayginer in the best sixteen, but was eliminated by Coklu in the next round.

Dani Sánchez, Yusuke Mori and Nguyen Quoc Niguyen led the last qualifications, the Spaniard with 2,285 on average. Dion Nelin, Nikos Polychronopoulos and the number two of last World Championship, Duc Anh Chien, missed the step to the main tournament. Dick Jaspers led the first round in eight groups of four with 2,000 and, like JunTae Kim and Tayfun Tasdemir, achieved the maximum six match points. The big guns that didn't make it to the knock-outs were Eddy Merckx, Sung-Won Choi, Sameh Sidhom, Jérémy Bury, Lütfi Cenet and Roland Forthomme. Dick Jaspers had a world class start in his first matches with 50 in 15 against Tran and 50 in 13 against Ngo. Torbjörn Blomdahl beat Marco Zanetti in the best sixteen, Dani Sánchez eliminated Blomdahl one round later.



The first sensitive knock-out was handed out by Dick Jaspers on early Sunday morning. Watched by less than 100 fans in the stands, but more than 6,000 viewers on internet, Turkish home crowd lost its last beloved idol. Murat Naci Coklu, looking nervous and not showing the mental strength that can make him so strong, had to capitulate around the stop in his battle to a masterfully playing Jaspers. The support of Murat's most loyal fan, Emel, his wife in the stands, was unanswered at the billiard table. The coldblooded Dutch machine man controlled the match with his 12 run right after the stop (leading 34-17 in 13). Then he started his last rush to finally cap it with 7, 2 and 3 to victory, 50-23 in 19. Murat's (very) short comment: "He played well and I played bad." The only Turkish top gun on stage however felt happy with his ranking points to enter top ten.

Dick Jaspers showing his joy after he beat Coklu in the semi-finals

The Dutchman and the Turk shake hands after their match

Murat Naci Coklu, great performance, outplayed by Jaspers

Murat's wife Emel and Turkish president's little daughter looking sad after Coklu's loss

Dani Sánchez and HaengJik Kim were putting up an exciting fight in the second session. The run-up showed two players with a small margin from the start and 14-14 in 11. Sánchez slowly ran away one inning later with 4, Kim started his furious counter with 11 in the 17th (34-29), but the match went on side-by-side around the 20th inning on the way to the last sprint. The score board showed 41-36 for Kim, when Sánchez found his rhythm to launch a first hit back. The Spaniard scored a wonderful 10 to put the score at 46-41. Haeng Jik came back one more time with 6 to 46-48, then Sanchez strongly finished with four: 50-48 in 24/23. Kim is one of the first victims of the new UMB rules, that no equalizing inning is offered. The Korean player, however, will not lose ranking points that were at stake from his World Cup performance in Somabay, Egypt in 2018.

Dani Sánchez, raising his hands in joy after he beat HaengJik Kim

HaengJik Kim and Dani Sáncchez shake hands before the match

Dani Sánchez in the final part of his victory

HaengJik Kim realizes: his last chance to beat Sánchez

The final ranking in Antalya:
1 Dani Sánchez 11-1,980-12
2 Dick Jaspers 12-2.276-12
3 HaengJik Kim 8-1.827-13
4 Murat Naci Coklu 8-1.605-10
5 Dinh Nai Ngo 6-2.011-12
6 Torbjörn Blomdahl 61.825-14
7 Tran Thanh Tu Nguyen 6-1.525-11
8 Nguyen Quoc Nguyen 6-1.519-11
9 Tayfun Tasdemir 6-1.618-6
10 Juntae Kim 6-1.549-10
11 Myung-Woo Cho 4-1.784-11
12 Jae-Ho Cho 4-1.779-9
13 Semih Sayginer 4-1.738-17
14 Marco Zanetti 4-1.733-13
15 Martin Horn 4-1.489-8
16 Quyet Chien Tran 2-1.803-13
17 Roland Forthomme 4-1.710-14
18 Lütfi Cenet 3-1.555-7
19 Jérôme Barbeillon 2-1.576-11
20 Michael Nilsson 2-1.532-15

Highest run: Semih Sayginer 17
Best match: Quyet Chien Tran 4.000.

The new world ranking:
1 Dick Jaspers 412
2 Marco Zanetti 338
3 Torbjörn Blomdahl 305
4 Eddy Merckx 294
5 Tayfun Tasdemir 291
6 Dani Sánchez 274
7 Quyet Chien Tran 270
8 HaengJik Kim 262
9 Sameh Sidhom 249
10 Myung Woo Cho 248
11 Semih Sayginer 237
12 Murat Naci Coklu 232
13 Martin Horn 224
14 JaeHo Cho 208


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My Comments

Short summary of tournament
Congratulation, Dani!
However good performance from the begin of WC, Dick Jasper.
So sad no Vietnamese in last 4.

Message 1/1 - Publish at February 24, 2020 3:32 AM

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