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Jaspers has COVID... what about Therese?

Posted by on April 23, 2021

Jaspers has COVID... what about Therese?

© Ton Smilde
Dick Jaspers, the flying Dutchman, not at the Masters due to positive COVID 19 test?

BERLICUM - In the Jumbo Masters arena, where the preparations were underway this Friday for the Dutch championship that starts on Sunday, the news came hard. ''Dick Jaspers, multiple titleholder, has been tested positive on corona'', went through the ranks of the builders in the Benelux Theatre. Harry Mathijssen, organiser, could hardly believe it. But how reacted the reigning champion himself under the news? Dick Jaspers, not much later. ''I will call you in a moment, but now I have my second COVID test done'', he quickly sent a message. So, hope is set on that second test, but how realistic is it to think that it will be negative? Harry Mathijssen: ''I have arranged for Dick to come to Rotterdam this afternoon for a test and to get the result before one o'clock in the night.''

The organiser from Brabant has his doubts: ''I heard from Dick that he had no complaints at all. His daughter, who was in his house, did a quick test after his result was known. She is negative, so we have to see what happens. They could also have made a mistake with the tests in Den Bosch, so we assume it's just a coincidence.''

Dick Jaspers, himself, returned from the second test in Rotterdam, and is full of incomprehension. ''To be honest, I never expected this, because I have been quite careful and have little contact with large groups of people. You could say, the supermarket, maybe with a trolley that was touched by other people. You don't know. In any case, I am very disappointed, because I don't feel anything. So now, you could say I have corona, but I don't have any complaints.''

He hopes for a slightly earlier result than tonight. ''But I am not too optimistic about it, I just have to assume that I will be positive. And that I have to cancel. What a pity that is. I was so aiming to see the boys again, to play good billiards again according to a system that I was really looking forward to. But there you are, not going to the Masters. I was absolutely not expecting it. You go to that test street, a man in a suit twirls a stick in your nose and that was it. Until you are completely surprised by a positive result.''

Late this afternoon, the Jumbo Masters organisation already assumes that Jaspers will not be able to compete in the worst case scenario. But what then? Volkan Cetin, next in line and first alternate, is warned that in that case he may take Jaspers' place. But Volkan is in Turkey now where his sister has given birth to triplets. His reaction was: I will wait for Dick's second result before I return to Holland. Just to be sure, he did a test in Turkey, but he decided to stay in his home land because he need a quarantine in Holland.

Therese Klompenhouwer is the next reserve to be ready for this Masters. And Therese was going for a test this afternoon, knowing that it can be positive. ''Yes, I have had corona,'' the world champion admits. That's about five weeks ago now. ''It made me sick for a while, pain in my body, tiredness, but now I'm symptom free. But it can take five to eight weeks before it leaves your body.'' Therese carefully assumes that in the worst case she is not eligible to play.

So what a run-up to the Masters, where the nice news of the 'baby boom' (ladies Jorissen, Christiani and Swertz pregnant) has now suddenly been superseded by the gloomy news of the positive coronation tests. ''We have built a wonderful arena'', sighed Harry Mathijssen this afternoon. ''I can't imagine that we have to play without the champion.''




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