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Masters for Jaspers, Europeans comes to Holland

Posted by on January 19, 2020

Masters for Jaspers, Europeans comes to Holland

© Kozoom/Ton Smilde
The Mssters podium with Dick Jsspers, the champion, Barry van Beers, John Tijssens and Harrie van de Ven

BERLICUM - The king of Dutch three cushion climbed to his throne in the Beneluxtheater in Berlicum for the 20th time in the history of the Dutch Masters. On the highest stage, he was flanked by three other Brabant billiards players. Barry van Beers, playing his first final at the Masters, was the last obstacle in a match that was decided by Jaspers in the final part. The world's number one in three cushion picked up the important 30 points for the world ranking for his title. On the final day, the big news was announced in the arena that the Netherlands gets the organisation of the European three-cushion championship for men this year, in this same theater from 1 to 4 July. Dick Jaspers is the title defender there and probably five Dutchmen will be among the participants.

A Brabant fanfare played the Dutch anthem for Jaspers and the full stands. The winner was rewarded with a trophy, flowers and a television screen almost the size of a match table. Jaspers pointed during his speech to a former champion in the VIP boxes and said: ''How nice to see that Rini van Bracht is among the spectators. I won my first Dutch title exactly 30 years ago and Rini was my opponent.'' The twentieth Masters title was the fourth in a row for Jaspers in this theater. Barry van Beers played his first final, lost without a chance and expressed his big admiration for the record champion: ''I dare to say that Dick Jaspers is just as strong as all other finalists together. We must play extremely well and need all the luck to ever beat him.''

The outsider in the final, recently active in all World Cups and therefore showing a lot of progression, could match with Jaspers in the title fight until 21-21 at the stop, but then lost control. He failed to score in that part, so that Jaspers scored 26-22 and 38-22 and could finish at 40-26 in 31.

The champion was happy with his title as always, but sincerely concluded that he was not in his best form. ''I am facing the start of a tough year again and I know that I cannot always be at my best. But luckily I could finish well against John Tijssens and Barry van Beers on the final day, two very good players and hard to beat. Moreover, we played here on different cloths than I am used to. I had quite a bit of trouble with that situation.''

Tomorrow, Monday, Jaspers is leaving for Mexico to give some exhibitions for his sponsor Longoni. ''That is a kind of obligation that I had to fulfill. And then, when I come back, we are close to the next World Cup again. I have thought about my year and decided to dose my matches a little. Basically, it means that I will play fewer league matches. No matter how difficult it will be, because it's always hard for me to say no to my team leaders.''

With the designation of the European championship in the Benelux theater in Berlicum, the Netherlands and the organization will again have a major tournament within their borders. The men's European championships has been organized 75 times so far, many times in European capitals. Harry Mathijssen: ''It is great that we are now prominent on this calendar with Berlicum and we appreciate very much that we have the confidence of the European federation CEB."


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