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

Jaspers, Merckx and two Colombians in gold race

Posted by on July 16, 2022

Jaspers, Merckx and two Colombians in gold race

© Paul Brekelmans
Dick Jaspers and Eddy Merckx meet each other in the semi-finals at the World Games

BIRMINGHAM - Two Europeans from the low lands and two Colombians will battle for gold at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama. Dick Jaspers and Eddy Merckx meet each other in the first semifinal of the three-cushion event in the Sheraton Hotel, two Colombians, Jose Juan Garcia and Pedro Gonzalez play for the other final spot. The matches will be broadcast live for the first time at this world stage.

The semi-finals are:
Dick Jaspers-Eddy Merckx (Saturday 9.00 in Alabama, 16.00 in Western Europe)
Jose Juan Garcia-Pedro Gonzalez (11.30 Alabama, 18.30 Western Europe).
The losers play for third place later on Saturday. The final is on Sunday at 10.00 (Alabama), 17.00 in Western Europe.

Dick Jaspers made it to the final four after beating Torbjörn Blomdahl 40-20 in 21 innings. Eddy Merckx stopped the new gold race of Dani Sánchez in a thrilling match 40-38 also in 21 innings. The first Colombian who went on to the final four was Jose Juan Garcia. The young Colombian, former world champion in the juniors, defeated Quyet Chien Tran, the star player from the first qualifications, 40-26 in 22 innings. Pedro Gonzalez, champion in his country, beat Japanese Kouji Funaki in the last quarter final 40-24 in 22.

Dick Jaspers, in the match with the two most famous players against Torbjörn Blomdahl, quickly jumped to a 20-10 margin in the first part and shortly after the break, he sovereignly ran to 36-16 with a 9-run, to which the Swede (five misses in the last innings) could not find an answer.

Eddy Merckx and Dani Sánchez met in a wonderful fight with constantly changing tables. The Belgian twice fought back from an arrear and grabbed victory in a fantastic final part. The Spaniard was the best starter with a 9-1 lead, Merckx quickly came back with a run of 10 (11-9) and even extended the margin to 25-17. Then, it was Sánchez's turn to strike again, first with a run of 11 and few innings later to 31-26.

In the decisive phase, first to 33-32 and a little later 36-32 for Sánchez, Merckx grabbed the win with a strong final shot: at 38-38 the little Belgian went for the hard fought 40-38 with two winning points.

Jose Juan Garcia defeated Quyet Chien Tran, the best Asian in the tournament, in which the only Korean, Seo, was eliminated in the first selection by Blomdahl. Quyet Chien Tran shone in a top match against Javier Teran, but against Jose Juan Garcia he was not the same glorious player as in the first round.

The Vietnamese did get off to a good start with 4, 7 and 1 (12-4 in 3), but was outclassed in the remainder of the match, in which he barely managed to score. The Colombian profited gratefully from Tran's bad day after 20-19 (17 innings) and went to the finish with runs of 2, 3 and 4 for a final score 40-26 in 22.

Pedro Gonzalez bombarded Japanese player Kouji Funaki, who beat Marco Zanetti in the previous round, with small runs in the middle part of the match. The Colombian started 10 in 4, allowed his opponent to return by four misses in a row, but went to the lead by four runs of three and one of four, where the Japanese let himself be trounced (32-20 in 17). With a last 'five' before the finish, victory was 40-24 in 22 for the Colombian, who also starred with Huberney Cataño with a second place on the World Championships for national teams in Viersen.

Eddy Merckx to victory in a great match with Dani Sánchez

Three times winner Dani Sánchez after a hard fight with Eddy Merckx out for the World Games

Dick Jaspers, wins against Piedrabuena and Blomdahl, now in the semi-finals meeting Eddy Merckx




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