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Eddy Merckx is the nr. 1 again at Belgian Multi's

Posted by on January 13, 2020

Eddy Merckx is the nr. 1 again at Belgian Multi's

© Dirk Acx
Eddy Merckx in his title race at the Multi's in the final match against Peter Ceulemans

BLANKENBERGE - At the start of the new yar, Belgian three-cushion welcomed a great new champion and saw a historic brotherly battle in the semi-finals when Peter and Bart Ceulemans played for a final ticket. The traditional Multi championships with its huge number of disciplines and titles came to an end, facing a first, unfortunate devaluation in the line-up due to the lack of two top players: Frédéric Caudron in three cushion, Patrick Niessen in the classical games. The organization did not complain about a reduced interest of people, but there is undoubtedly the hope of a quick return of the top guns. Eddy Merckx won the final against Peter Ceulemans in three cushion on Sunday afternoon, 40-23 in 19. Francis Forton took third place on the podium by beating Bart Ceulemans 40-24 in 21.

The final matches was launched by Merckx with a first attack that led to 22-14 in 8 innings. A short sprint of Peter Ceulemans (5) brought the score to 27-19 in 12, from then Merckx again showed his great skills in a counter with 7 to 34-19 in 13 and 4 to 38-19. He still missed three match points by kisses, but finished 40-23 in 19 innings. The winner's tournament average was 1,931.

Eddy Merckx was rewarded by 30 ranking points for the world ranking with his win and remains comfortable in top five.

The tournament was dominated in the other disciplines by Eddy Leppens and Maarten Janssen in the classic game types, Danielle Le Bruyn extended the title in the ladies and Dylan Parent was the best junior. Peter Debaes took his fourth title in 5 pins, Erik Vervliet won the championship in the artistic billiards and Johan Grimon in the wheelchair.

Benny van Goethem, president of the Belgian billiard federation, concluded at the end of the tournament: "I am happy that we still have enough big players left in Belgium to make a big title race over one week.'' With players like Merckx, Forthomme and including the two Ceulemans brothers, there was enough quality in the house in three cushion. Much worse was the devaluation of the classic games, where the averages and the high runs lagged far behind the latest editions of the Multi's.

The Ceulemans success could have been even better without Kurt Ceulemans' sudden withdrawal for the quarter-finals. Therefore, Francis Forton had a walk-over and did he automatically move up for the semi-finals. The real reason for Ceulemans' cancellation was only known among a few people. The former organizer of the Blankenberge World Cup did not show up anymore. a mysterious haze over the tournament on the final day. In a small circle it was only known why the former organizer of the World Cup in Blankenberge no longer showed up.

"We can't say anything about it," was the mysterious explanation of Benny van Goethem, who only announce Saturday late night that Forton had to appear before the scheduled game. The absence had nothing to do with family affairs, as was previously suggested. "It is a private decision," said the federal president.

The brother twist in the semi-final between Peter and Bart Ceulemans gave the final day the shine that the tournament deserved. Bart's unexpected breakthrough at the Belgian Multi's impressed his bigger brother, but to the end the match, the routine was the deciding factor. After the break, Peter took advantage, ran out to 37-30 in the final phase and won 40-30 in a not so high-level match. Eddy Merckx peaked at the good moment on his way to the final match. Francis Forton could not find his rhythm after the bye in the quarters and had no chance at all. The score, Merckx won 40-10 in 17 innings.

Peter Ceulemans, strong show up at the Multi's rewarded by the silver medal



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