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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - 3CC World Masters - Seoul (KOR)

Eddy Leppens gets rid of Sánchez complex

Posted by on July 14, 2018

Eddy Leppens gets rid of Sánchez complex

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Eddy Leppens took his reveng and is in the last 8 in Seoul

SEOUL - For many years Dani Sánchez was the black beast for Eddy Leppens in major tournaments around the world. The 48-year-old Belgian lost at the 1998 World championships in Rezé in the semi-finals to the Spaniard, who then took his first world title. At the WC in Lugo in 2005, Leppens was leading 2-0 in the semi-finals, Sánchez came back to 3-2 and took his second world title. Five years later, Leppens and Sánchez faced each other in the final at the WC in Sluiskil. Leppens led 2-0, Sánchez fought back to 3-2 and won his third world title. And finally, at the 2016 World championship in Bordeaux, with matches to 40, Leppens led 38-32, Sánchez miraculously played out with 8 and conquered his fourth world title.

On his way to the final day at the 3CC World Masters in Seoul, Eddy Leppens finally took his revenge. The match ran out into another exciting final, when after a poor start, Dani came back to 28-28 with runs of eight and seven. Leppens commented later: ,,I made one in the second last inning, Sánchez also one, so 29-29. I made five in the last for 34-29. He started with a lucky shot, made 2..., 3..., and I thought on my chair: o, no, not again, will he? Then Sánchez was missing a good position and I won the race.''

The Belgian, who made his way to top 20 in the last two years, is still far from happy with his level in the 3CC Masters. ,,I know that I can do much better.'' He loves the new system, anyway. ,,The high runs are missing, I have an explanation for that. As Marco Zanetti already stated: the 30 seconds are actually too short. Make it 40 in the next tournament and the level will improve spectacularly.''

Two players of the young generation reached the last eight of the tournament in the first sessions of the Saturday rounds. Five Europeans are competing against three Asians in the last eight. David Martinez won the shootout against Jung-Han Heo, the last Korean in the tournament, 4-2. ,,I had to fight for a come-back after the start'', the Spaniard looked back at the game. ,,But I kept waiting for my chance and took it at the end. That makes me happy: first in the best at the last World championship in Bolivia, now here in Seoul, really great for me.''

Yusuke Mori could be happy again that he survived another round. The amiable Japanese won the low level match against Sameh Sidhom 23-16. For the time being, Mori is already on his way to the best reward (10.000 dollars) in his young career. The Egyptian, eleventh in the world rankings, has been stagnant in his development for a few years after his step to the world top.

The routine players in the last eight are Eddy Merckx, Marco Zanetti and Tayfun Tasdemir. Merckx recorded against Bury the best match of the round with sixteen: 60-33. Zanetti was not far behind to beat Ma 56-33. The Belgian and the Italian are no doubt contenders for the podium. Tayfun Tasdemir, best man in the preliminaries, launched his attack against Nikos Polychronopoulos with 10 in the 4th inning and ran out with 7 two innings before the end. Then he coolly finished it at 40-28.

Eddy Merckx faced a strong Jérémy Bury at the start in a match with too many long interruptions due to technical problems. The Frenchman was not too far before the break (23-15 in 7), but around the 10th inning, Merckx set the pace to 34-16 for a final win 60-33. Marco Zanetti took his advantage after eight innings to 25-11 against Minh Cam Ma. In the second part, the Italian showed even more of his supremacy: after 40-16 he finally won 56-33.

Torbjörn Blomdahl could not take a few chances against Quyet Chien Tran: from 31-26, two innings from the finish, Tran scored six more points and Blomdahl was left behind 37-33. Nguyen Quoc Nguyen was a way too strong for Murat Naci Coklu. ,,I had a great start'', the Vietnamese said after the game. With 3, 7, 6 and 3, Nguyen came to 19-5 and after a final 8-un (18th inning) he won 40-26.

The matches for the quarterfinals on Saturday night are:



Dani Sánchez, outplayd by the man whom he beat so many times on the world stage

Eddy Merckx, best match in the last sixteen with 60 points

Marco Zanetti, on his way to the final podium?

Nguyen Quoc Nguyen reached the last 8 together with his country man Tran

Yusuke Mori... ouch, another win and into the best 8

David Martinez: in the last 8 in Bolivia, in the last 8 in Seoul

Quyet Chien Tran: a win against Blomdahl


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