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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Championship - Sharm El Sheikh (EGY)

Martin Horn ready to throw a shot at the world title

Posted by on December 10, 2021

Martin Horn ready to throw a shot at the world title

© Hervé Lacombe
German star player Martin Horn after world match: a flow that he never felt before

SHARM EL SHEIKH - The tournament for the world title suddenly has another main favourite. 50-year-old German Martin Horn, who was never before the best in the world in three cushion, glittered in the quarter-finals at the World Championship in Sharm El Sheikh today with a world class match. He defeated Tayfun Tasdemir, who also showed his great form in the last days, 50-22 in 12 innings, launched by a run of 20 on the first stroke. Horn is in the semi-finals of the eventt on the Red Sea with Dick Jaspers as his opponent (13.00, Egyptian time), Marco Zanetti and Murat Naci Coklu, the other two opponents in the semi-finals, open the final day at 11.00 hrs.

Martin Horn won two World Cups in his career, in which he was a world class player in all disciplines: he won World Cups in Antalya in 2009 and in La Baule in 2018. He is known as one of the finest and best technical and position players, but has never been able to turn that into gold medals on the world stage. What a rare opportunity he now gets in the billiards arena on the banks of the Red Sea, on the final day with Dick Jaspers, Marco Zanetti and Murat Naci Coklu. Martin Horn showed a superb form, he only will have to get around the Jaspers obstacle on Saturday to reach the final.

There is nothing wrong with his form, confidence and mental strength. Martin Horn showed that in the match against Tayfun Tasdemir with an incredible start. He started with 20, many of those points wonderfully played, he showed great form, great style. ''It was a real highlight in my career so far, but I hope that it wasn't all. I am enjoying this match and I'am looking forward to seeing what happens next.''

The German himself was really surprised at how his start was. ''I went into the match with the feeling that I should start well, because Tasdemir and Zanetti were the best players so far in this World Championship. But to start like that, was fantastic. I made 20, then 5 and we went into the break after two innings. It happens once in a year for a billiard player that you get into a flow like that from the start. Then, after that start, I tried to keep my focus, because I thought Tayfun would fight back. But I finished beautifully. I'm going to enjoy this for one hour, but then concentrate on tomorrow, on the final day. I know Dick (Jaspers) as my next opponent will be very hard to beat. But I will try to use my mental strength, my focus and my speed as a weapon in that match. It is really fantastic to experience this. When you play like I did today, you only see solutions, never problems''.

Dick Jaspers, a former teammate, tomorrow Martin Horn's opponent, had a tease of his own in Jérémy Bury in the first innings, in which the Frenchman started with 3 and 9, but then stalled with 8 misses in 7 innings. Jaspers, with three 5 runs, already led 20-14 in 10, scored another 8 and finished with two 4 runs for a final score 50-35 in 30.

Marco Zanetti put an end to the illusions of Ruben Legazpi, a real championship fighter, who had a poor start (5 in 11), then managed to score 11, but was outclassed by his Italian opponent with 11 in the 17th and 10 in the inning that brought him to the finish. The maestro is hot, who will be able to stop him in this form on the final day?

The fourth finalist is Murat Naci Coklu, the only one of the four remaining Turks because Tasdemir, Cenet and even earlier Sayginer have disappeared from the tournament. The always imperturbable 'Naci', for friends, former European champion, had slipped too far down the rankings and will surely make a jump after this World Championship. He got rid of Peter Ceulemans, the revelation and coming man, and in the next round of Choong Bok Lee, who scored so miraculously high in the World Cup and was the best of all Koreans at the World championship. Only Coklu was able to stop him, in a match in which he scored an 11 early (20-7 in the 8th inning) and forced the decision with 10 at 40-37 behind: the final score 50-46 in 26.

 

Marco Zanetti, the other player in his best form

Murat Naci Coklu outplayed two revelations of this World's: Peter Ceulemans and Choong Bok Lee

Dick Jaspers, the world's number 1, eager to take his 5th world title

Best sixteen

How must Sameh Sidhom, Egypt's 34-year-old long-time number one, have felt in front of his home crowd at the World Championship? He was facing Dick Jaspers, of course, the number one in the world for a reason. But wasn't he, Sameh Sidhom, the player who stood on the podium with Torbjörn Blomdahl, Duc Chien Nguyen and Semih Sagyiner at the last World Championship in Randers? With the knowledge that Blomdahl and Sayginer have been eliminated now and the Vietnamese could not start at this tournament.

How must he have felt, the young Caïro freelance dentist who earns his money on billiards? He was already floored by Jaspers when the match had barely started. The Dutchman with a normal, modest start, the Egyptian incredibly bad: with five misses, one 1 and another three misses. For a score after ten innings: 17-1. The painful torture even continued: 18-5, 26-8 and after runs in a row of 8, 7 and 6 for Jaspers, an eventual, hateful 50-12 in 22.

Sameh Sidhom

Didn't the last two Belgians at this World Championship, from the country with a record of podium places in history, also enter the penultimate day with different illusions? That certainly applied to Eddy Merckx, who had a blissful night behind him after his victory over Blomdahl, the dethroned world champion. And now facing Tayfun Tasdemir. But also Peter Ceulemans, for many days in the winning mood, in his whole charisma not afraid of the devil, so surely not of Murat Naci Coklu, the other and smallest of all Turks.

Wait: it turned out the other way. Eddy Merckx came up against a formidable Tasdemir, who in his first knockout had won against Nady in 17 innings 50-36 (2,941). But in his crackdown against Merckx, he was even more ruthless: a generous 50-28 in 15 innings (3,125 average).

Tayfun Tasdemir

Eddy Merckx

Then we had to gamble, with a handful of Belgian fans, on Peter Ceulemans, well on his way to writing more World history on his record. And, undoubtedly, with a passionately sympathetic 'Bompa Raymond' at a distance. Waiting for the other Belgium-Turkey, a wonderful poster with changing odds.

Starting with a small lead for the almost two-metre long Belgian after ten innings (21-15), a hiccup of five innings, which after 4 and 5 for Coklu brought the 22-26 on the scoreboard. And almost immediately after that, Murat's swipe with fifteen(!!!), followed by 4 and 3. The chances for Ceulemans junior had disappeared like snow in the African sun. Yet, there was still some tension coming up. The Belgian fighter came back with small runs, 7, 3, 3 and 4, to a 45-49 score, but then Murat made his last for the match win: 50-45 in 23.

 

Mr. Choong Bok Lee, who can now write 'Come-Back' with capital letters, added yet another chapter to his success story. Mexican Mauricio Gutierrez, having eliminated Semih Sayginer, went through the Korean mill as well with a not too insignificant score: 50-20 in 19. At another place in the arena, Ruben Legazpi eliminated Wan Young Choi (50-38 in 24), the second remaining Korean up to that point. The Spaniard, winner of the Kozoom challenge, is increasingly becoming one of the contenders for a stunt on this world stage.

Marco Zanetti is strong, extremely strong, once already with the best match of all participants, now again, facing Ronny Lindemann, who went far down with 50-25 in 21, thanks also to Marco's run of 11 in the 11th, good for 31-16 in 12 innings.

Martin Horn and Jérémy Bury joined the field in the last games of this session. The German after a tricky ending against Lütfi Cenet, with a first attack with 11 in the 20th and helped by a couple of crucial misses by Lütfi in sight of the finish. Jérémy Bury started with 10 against Jose Juan Garcia, ran out to 18-2, to 25-14 in 10, but after 7 misses in the middle part, Jérémy let the Colombian come back to 46-44. That was the signal for the Frenchman to finish with a 4 run: 50-44 in 32.

Jérémy Bury

Peter Ceulemans

Pictures Hervé Lacombe and Paul Brekelmans

 

 

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My Comments

backnineblues
backnineblues
Stunning one-two punch knocks Semih out
That Mauricio Gutierrez and Riad Nady combined to eliminate Semih seemed surreal. Coming off his first World Cup win since returning from his long absence, Semih seemed poised to contend for the highest position on the podium. But World #73 and #37 both proved too good for World #5. As the saying goes “that’s why they play the games”.

Message 1/1 - Publish at December 11, 2021 4:33 AM

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