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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - Belgian Cup - Hooglede (BEL)

Forthomme in one-man show to win in Belgian Cup

Posted by on May 22, 2022

Forthomme in one-man show to win in Belgian Cup

© Dirk Acx
The Belgian Cup podium with Roland Forthomme, Ronny Brants and Leslie Menheer

HOOGLEDE - The 51-year-old Roland Forthomme has won the Belgian Cup for the seventh time in his career. The victory followed a one-man show from the Belgian giant, who only lost one set over the entire course and defeated Ronny Brants 3-0 in the final. The podium was completed by Jef Philipoom and Leslie Menheer, the losers in the semi-finals. Roland Forthomme averaged 1.691 over six games. Ronny Brants was on the podium once before in 2014, when Eddy Merckx won ahead of Roland Forthomme.

With his victory, Roland Forthomme comes close to the record of Frédéric Caudron. The current PBA coryphée won the Belgian Cup eight times, for Roland Forthomme it was the seventh time after victories in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2017. ''I always feel good in this tournament because it's knock-out. I like it and I can focus well'', Forthomme commented after the tournament. ''My form has grown the last weeks, because I play a lot. As you know, I am not a training animal, I need my matches to get in form. And here in the Belgian Cup the focus was very good, I had to fight a few sets, but still won all the matches with a good margin.''

The right attitude (focus) goes hand in hand with less stress during the tournaments. ''How shall I say: after my heart problem last year, I have another mindset in my matches. I don't put a lot of pressure on myself, but I live quietly towards the matches. Maybe that is the reason why I have a good feeling for a few weeks now.'' Shortly after the ceremony, Forthomme left by car for Paris, where he will board a plane tomorrow to play the World Cup in Vietnam.

The tournament for the Belgian Cup, that was again played in De Gulden Zonne in Hooglede, started with 32 finalists, who first played in groups of 16 players over two days for a place in the semi-finals. That happened on Friday with Roland Forthomme and Leslie Menheer as best two and on Saturday with Jef Philipoom and Ronny Brants. Especially the course of Forthomme was impressive, among others with a 2-0 in sets against Wesley de Jaeger, 2-0 against Francky van Coillie (2.307 average against 0.333) and in the quarterfinals against Frank de Groof 3-1, the only set Forthomme lost. In that part of the schedule Steven van Acker, Wesley de Jaeger and Ivan Stitschinsky were eliminated.

Roland Forthomme continued his sovereign victory series by beating Leslie Menheer 3-0 (averages 1.730/0.791) in the semifinals as a run-up to the final against Ronny Brants, who had a much tougher stretch to reach the final.

The West Fleming started with a 2-0 win over Andy de Bondt (1.071), then beat Francis Forton 2-1 (1.440/1.333) to conquer Peter De Backer 3-1 (1.358/1.210) in the quarterfinals. De Backer had beaten Peter Ceulemans 2-1 in the previous round. Jef Philipoom also pulled off a feat in the quarter-finals by beating Eddy Merckx 3-0, where it was striking that Philipoom played a solid 1.451 and made a run of 12, while Merckx finished on 1.000 average.

Where Forthomme easily qualified for the final against Leslie Menheer (3-0), Ronny Brants and Jef Philipoom made a real thriller of their match. The two rivals had to fight it out together after 2-2 in sets, Philipoom superior in average. In the last set, however, Brants took the victory: 3-2. ''I started with 11 from the spots and won 15-13'', Ronny Brants told later. The average for Brants was 1.244, for Philipoom 1.522.

Forthomme went to his cup triumph with 3-0 against Brants and an excellent average of 2.812 against Brants 1.928. The match for third place between Menheer and Philipoom was won 2-1 by Menheer, Peter De Backer was fifth by a win over Frank de Groof 2-1 and Eddy Merckx finished seventh by a 2-0 victory over Christophe Wyn.

The tournament at the small table was won by Patrick Derede, who beat Johan Vermeulen 2-0 in the final. Claude Devos beat Jean-Marie Bolle for third place 3-1.

Roland Forthomme on his way to cup win

Ronny Brants, very happy and proud to reach this final

The four final player from left to right Jef Philipoom, Ronny Brants, Leslie Menheer and the winner Roland Forthomme.




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