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Carom Billiard - Carom - European Championship - Brandenburg (GER)

Frédéric Caudron beats his long-time rival

Posted by on May 2, 2017

Frédéric Caudron beats his long-time rival

© Ton Smilde/Kozoom
Frédéric Caudron na zijn laatste carambole die goed was voor zijn negende Europese bandstoottitel

BRANDENBURG - The two very best players in the 1-cushion discipline played for the gold medal this Tuesday afternoon, at the European Championship.. Belgian Frédéric Caudron came out on top, for the fourth time in a row. Jean Paul de Bruijn, a six time winner of this title, had to watch how his opponent controlled the second half of their match, to end it 120 - 63 in six innings. 20-year oldSam van Etten was the winner in the free game for juniors. He had already won that title two years ago. In the final, he beat Stef van Hees from Belgium: 300-17 in 3 innings. Frenchman Maxime Panaia won the 3-cushion event for under 17 year olds, and the Italians were as usual the best in the pins discipline. Matteo Gualemi was the new European champion.

Frédéric Caudron and Jean Paul de Bruijn, the best 1-cushion players in the world, had faced off many times before. The Dutchman ruled from 2001 to 2007, with six titles, Caudron now won his fourth in a row and his ninth in total. It was his second medal at this event, following his silver in the 3-cushion discipline, won by Marco Zanetti.

The 1-cushion, especially the position play, has developed in the past decade, mostly under the impulses of de Bruijn and Caudron. ,,I call it the Belgian school'', said Caudron in his Kozoom interview. We have improved the basics in such a way that we can often make runs without getting in trouble.'' The new European champion added that he and De Bruijn are a notch above the others. ,I know a lot of players who can play this system, but we have even more potential. And we are not exactly the same. Jean Paul is better when the positions are really compact, that's where he makes high runs. I lean heavier on the gathers and the positions.''

Jean Paul de Bruijn: ,,I know how dangerous Caudron is, when I can't come up with a very high run. That's what happened in the final. We were about even, but I missed once or twice on crucial moments. Of course Fred took full advantage.'' The Dutchman did not use refer to the pressure that might have played a role, after the semis. Frédéric Caudron played against Raymund Swertz and produced a world class run. he even looked to be on his way to end the match in the first inning, but after 118 of the required 120 points, he missed as a result of a butage.

Jean Paul: ,,The semis did not play a part, I started the final fresh. But for whatever the reason, even when I had the balls under control, I could not quite finish it off.'' It was still neck and neck at 63-65, when Caudron did find the perfect control, and never missed until he had crossed the line after a run of 55 in the 6th inning. The Belgian: ,,I don't play 1-cushion very often, and in the beginning I missed a bit of rhythm.. My first few matches felt like practice. I started to get the feel of it, and it showed in that 118 in the semifinal. It's a pity that I missed, with only two points to go.''

In his semi, Jean Paul de Bruijn had gotten past Spaniard Raul Cuenca, who was never in the match: 120-42 in 9 innings. That match was almost a marathon compared to the one played by Caudron and Swertz, in 2 innings.

Final standing of the 1-cushion event, with the averages of the K.O. stage:

1 Frédéric Caudron 22.50-118

2 Jean Paul de Bruijn 15.15-61

3 Raymund Swertz 10.333-47

4 Raul Cuenca 5.22-25

5 Eddy Leppens 8.500-20

6 Michel van Silfhout 5.87-19

7 Sven Daske 2.50-19

8 Jean Francois Florent 2.40-10.

Dutch promise Sam van Etten (20) was head and shoulders the best player in the free game under 21. The tall guy from Noord-Holland, a pupil of Patrick Niessen, ended two of his three matches in a single inning. The final against Stefan van Hees took three innings: 300-17. In the semi, van Etten had beaten Simon Blondeel, 300-3 in 1 inning. Stef van Hees and Anders Henriksen played a draw: 300-300 in 14, Henriksen winning the shootout. At his young age, Sam van Etten has already compiled a nice few titles. Two years ago, he became the European champion with a win over Ferry Jong in the final. He became the European champion free game on the small table in 2013, and he also won the free game title in the Dutch championship, open category.

,,I had to make a choice, play 47/2 with the seniors here in Brandenburg, or the free game in the junior category. This is my last junior year, and I like the fact that I could add this title. And now, I am off to start a new chapter in my career, I am look forward to that'', said Sam van Etten after the ceremony.

The final ranking (main event averages):

1 Sam van Etten 180.00-300

2 Stef van Hees 26.82

3 Simon Blondeel 33.66

4 Andres Henriksen 28.57.

The hegemony of the Italians in the pin discipline was visible in the field of eight finalists. Seven of the eight were from Italy, with just Dane Finn Mortensen intruding. The quarterfinals were all-Italian, even though the nrs. one and two from the last EC, Aniello and Quarta were missing. Matteo Gualemi, the reigning world champion, won the final when he beat Daniel Ricardo Lopez 3-2.

The later champion took a 2-0 lead in sets (60-26, 60-44), but Lopez pegged him back with 60-36 and 60-32. The deciding set went to Gualemi (60-43), who added the European title to the world title he already held. The podium was completed by David Martinelli and Crocefisso Maggio.

The 16-year old Frenchman Maxime Panaia won his second European title in an exciting final against Italian Alessio D'Agata. The match ended 30-30 after 26 innings. In the shoot-out it was 1-1, but then D'Agata scored four times, and Panaia answered with five. The French favorite was draped in his national flag afterwards, his supporters enthusiastically singing along with their national anthem.

Final ranking:

1 Maxime Panaia, France, 1.200

2 Alessio D'Agata, Italy, 1.216

3 Ivan Mayor, Spain, 1.432

3 Dogukan Corbaci, Turkije, 0.830.

The Italians are leading the medal ranking after five days with 2 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze, followed by the Belgians 2-2-1, the French 2-1-2, the Netherlands 1-3-2 and the Spaniards 1-0-4.


The podium in one cushion with Frédéric Caudron, second right, Jean Paul de Bruijn (r), Raymund Swertz and Raul Cuenca (left)

Sam van Etten, farewell to the juniors with a title

Sam van Etten, second left, for the second time on a row in freeg game under 21

The Italian hegemony in 5 pins, second left the winner Matteo Gualemi

Maxime Panaia on stage under 17 with the French flag


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