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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Games - Birmingham (USA)

Jaspers and Garcia in final World Games

Posted by on July 17, 2022

 Jaspers and Garcia in final World Games

© Touch Magazine
Dick Jaspers after three strong matches playing the final against Jose Juan Garcia from Colombia

BIRMINGHAM - Dick Jaspers, the world champion and number one in the world, and Colombian Jose Juan Garcia will battle it out for the victory at the World Games in three-cushion this Sunday in Birmingham, Alabama. The match will be played at 10.00 (Alabama time, 17.00 Western Europe) and unfortunately for the thousands of billiard fans, there is no live broadcast of the match. The final match can be seen at 22.30 West European time.

Dick Jaspers qualified for the final on Saturday after a formidable victory over Eddy Merckx, his teammate in the Dutch competition. The Dutch world champion won his third match in a row with a comfortable score, beating Eddy Merckx even 40-16 in 14 innings. That brings Jaspers, after the wins against Piedrabuena and Blomdahl, to an average of 2.352 over three games.

The Dutchman will play the final against Jose Juan Garcia, a young Colombian, who defeated his compatriot Pedro Gonzalez in the semifinals 40-23 in 28 innings. Garcia had a huge lead, 33-7 in 14 innings, among others by a run of 9, but had a long slump with 9 misses in a row, after which he went out with 6 and 1.

Eddy Merckx, loser in the semifinals against Dick Jaspers, beat the Colombian Pedro Gonzalez in the losers' final late Saturday night, 40-24 in 23 innings. For Merckx it was his first bronze medal at the World Games after his silver medal in 2013 in Cali.

Dick Jaspers, after his victory over Eddy Merckx, was happy with his match, with the excellent form he showed at the World Games and with his qualification for the final: ''I get the feeling more and more that the Olympic spirit is here and that it is a great honor to play for this title. And I am in the final of a big event again," beamed the Dutchman. ''It seemed very easy against Eddy (Merckx), but don't forget he is mentally strong and always able to fight back. He didn't succeed this time, maybe because I didn't leave him much and kept scoring after a strong start.''

That start of the Dutchman, who feels very comfortable in the entourage of the World Games, was in fact almost the win of the match. Jaspers made a run of 11 in the second innings (13-1), went on to lead by 8 in the seventh innings (28-13) and built up to 36-13 in the tenth innings with a run of 7.

''I ran out to a nice margin and was able to defend well a couple of times'', Jaspers analysed the match later. ''That's why I was able to control the game and walk to the end with a few threes and fours. Still, I have to be careful. The table slides a lot, so you have to stay focused. I did that well in the matches so far.''

Jaspers is already looking ahead to the battle for gold, in which he will face Colombian Garcia on Sunday.

‘'I don't underestimate anyone here'', assures Jaspers. ''They are all great players here. Look at Kouji Funaki, a Japanese player that we hadn't seen for a long time. But he came to the World Games for the first time and eliminated Marco Zanetti with a two-and-a-half average. So you always have to be very careful, especially against those Colombians. I lost to Garcia in the groups of the Ankara World Cup and to Gonzalez at the World Championships in Viersen. So I will have to be very sharp to win the title here.''

The two Colombians in the semi-final: Jose Juan Garcia and Pedro Gonzalez

Four of the Europeans at the World Games: only Dick Jaspers, second left, is still in the title race

 

 

 

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