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Jumbo Challenge with world top definitely goes on

Posted by on December 23, 2020

Jumbo Challenge with world top definitely goes on

© Jumbo Challenge
The Jumbo Challenge with all European top guns from 20 to 22 of January

NISTELRODE - The first major European billiards tournament in the new year, the Jumbo Challenge in the Netherlands, will definitely take place. This morning, Wednesday 23 December, the organizers received the green light message from the mayor of the city Bernheeze, who had to decide on behalf of the security region. The almost entire European three-cushion top with, among others, Dick Jaspers, Torbjörn Blomdahl, Marco Zanetti, Dani Sánchez, Tayfun Tasdemir and Eddy Merckx will come to Nistenrode in Brabant on Wednesday 20, Thursday 21 and Friday 21 January 2021 for the tournament, which will be played without audience according to safety requirements. The venue is the Jumbo hotel on the golf course of the Jumbo boss. The matches will be broadcast live by Ziggo Sport all three days.

The sixteen players show up in a knock-out format with matches to 5 winning sets of 10 caroms. The draw will be made shortly, after all participants have made a final commitment. This has already been done earlier stage: only Semih Sayginer has cancelled. Harry Mathijssen, the organizer: ''We finally received the permission this morning and will now send all sixteen players the official invitation."

The organizers already had permission to play from NOC/NSF, the ministry and the KNBB. ''We only had to wait for the final permission from the municipality, that we now received.'' The top three-cushion tournament is played in the hotel of the golf course in 'De Duke'. The top five of the world rankings and ten players from the top 20 have already received the invitation and committed. Harry Mathijssen: ''Today we will approach them definitively, because now we are sure that there are no further obstacles.''

The field consists of four Dutch, one Italian, one Swede, three Belgians, two Turks, two Spaniards and two French. The first substitute, if one of the players wil cancel, is Raimond Burgman from Holland.

The matches will be played according to the wishes of Ziggo Sport: on Wednesday January 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Thursday January 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the open channel and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Ziggo Select. The semi-finals and final will be held on Friday 22 January from 11 am to 2 pm on the final day. The arena in 'De Duke' is optimally prepared for the recordings of Kozoom and live TV broadcasts. A Belgian commercial canal also showed earlier interest in taking over the images. Ziggo Sport will broadcast a total of 19 hours.

Harry Mathijssen and Ad Smout, on behalf of main sponsor Jumbo and with the BEN Foundation as organizers of the tournament, first started from the current world rankings when inviting players. ''In any case, we wanted as many players as possible from the top 20, but only European players, based on the Schengen countries and Turkey.'' The organization has sent the protocol to all invited players. ''We absolutely will guarantee Corona-proof, in a bubble on the golf course without any audience.''

Harry Mathijssen: ''The format is known: it had to be flashy, knock-out, short sets, 30 seconds on the shot clock without time-out. With a prize money of 77,000 euros.''

Dick Jaspers reacted enthusiastically to the news: ''This is great news for us as players and for the event in such a wonderful location. I am very happy with this in a period with so few tournaments and competitions. With this prize money, with this organization, you don't want to miss it. Moreover since it will also be live on Ziggo Sport. This is so important for the exposure of three cushion. A big compliment for all involved that this has been achieved.''

KNBB director Willem La Riviere, who has lobbied for the tournament for weeks: ''It is fantastic for all fans, players, the organization and the billiard sport. For the players, because this is the first time in a long time that they can compete internationally again, which is very important towards the European Championship three cushion in June. And this is especially good news for all billiard fans, enthusiasts and our members, who can enjoy the matches in January via Ziggo Sport and Kozoom. We therefore hope that there will be a massive interest.''

The sixteen participants are:

Dick Jaspers (The Netherlands)
Marco Zanetti (Italy)
Torbjörn Blomdahl (Sweden)
Eddy Merckx (Belgium)
Tayfun Tasdemir (Turkey)
Dani Sánchez (Spain)
Jérémy Bury (France)
Murat Naci Coklu (Turkey)
Martin Horn (Germany)
Roland Forthomme (Belgium)
Gwendal Maréchal (France)
Jean van Erp (The Netherlands)
Peter Ceulemans (Belgium)
Antonio Montes (Spain)
Jeffrey Jorissen (The Netherlands)
Joey de Kok (The Netherlands).



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