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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Cup - Istanbul (TUR)

Murat Naci Coklu wins the hearts of the Istanbul crowd

Posted by on October 18, 2015

Murat Naci Coklu wins the hearts of the Istanbul crowd

© Kozoom/Korea
Murat Naci Coklu shows his joy on the podium with Roland Forthomme and Dick Jaspers

ISTANBUL - For minutes, the spectators in the stands of the Istanbul billiard room cheered and chanted the name of a new hero. Murat Naci Coklu (41) won his first World Cup this Sunday, beating Belgian Roland Forthomme in the final: 40-26 in 21. The overjoyed winner, the second Turk to grab a title this year, following in Tayfun Tasdemir's footsteps, was the best player in a tournament that saw the top-12 players go out the side door, one by one. Dick Jaspers, beaten by Coklu in the semi, and Merckx, beaten by Forthomme, completed the rostrum in the beautiful arena of the Zeytinoglu Caddesi sports center in Besiktas, Istanbul.  The other Turkish star of the year, Tayfun Tasdemir, got beaten by the eventual winner of the event on the second day of play.

Murat Naci Coklu, the European champion of 2004, celebrated his win with a broad smile, his cue in the air as he held the Turkish flag. Amongst the first to congratulate him were the legend, Raymond Ceulemans, tournament director Gökhan Salman, the Turkish federation president Ersan Ercan, and of course his close ones in the stands. As he stood on the rostrum, the trophy in his hand and the national anthem playing, he could not hold back the tears. The crowd shared the champion's emotions.

The later winner had shown his mental strength, never more so than when he beat Jaspers in a shootout 5-4, in the semifinal. The match was dominated by Jaspers at first, with a 20-13 lead after 15 innings, and 32-23 after 22. The Turk caught up 32-30 and kept scoring, but had to watch as Jaspers crossed the line first: 40-36. His supporters could hardly breathe as he played the equalizer and ran a four. It forced a shootout, Jaspers starting it with another run of four. The fifth was tricky, and the Dutchman got kissed out. Once again, Murat Naci Coklu had it all to do. With every point being applauded as if it was the last, he managed to surpass Jaspers with a run of five, to get into the final.

Coklu already showed his blistering form in the last qualification round when he defeated Jose Juan Garcia and Christian Rudolph with a 2.500 general. In the main draw he outplayed in a row Polychronopoulos, Tasdemir, Tran, Jaspers and finally Forthomme on his way to the gold medal.

Roland Forthomme and Eddy Merckx were neck and neck all the way in the Belgian clash, with Forthomme just in the lead, 29-27 and 37-32. His last point only just made, and Merckx needed four in the equalizer but missed after three: 40-39 in 30.

The final was in balance until it was 24-23, then the Turk dominated to make it 31-23 thanks to a run of seven. Forthomme had a troubled 10 innings, in which he only scored six times, and Coklu could smell victory. Pushed by the encouragements of the crowd, he crossed the finish line.

With 80 world ranking points added, he climbs to the 15th position on the list. Sameh Sidhom and HaengJik Kim (absent in Istanbul) dropped out of the top-12. Roland Forthomme benefitted from his 54 points to climb to 9th. Torbjörn Blomdahl was eliminated early, but is still the world nr. 1, ahead of Dani Sánchez, Dick Jaspers, Tayfun Tasdemir and Eddy Merckx.

Dani Sánchez is the new leader in the overall world cup standing for the season, with a small lead over Dick Jaspers and Torbjörn Blomdahl. The sixth and last World Cup will be played in Hurghada, from 13 - 19 December.

The final ranking in Istanbul:

1 Murat Naci Coklu 1.612-9
2 Roland Forthomme 1.576-13
3 Dick Jaspers 1.666-15
3 Eddy Merckx 1.500-9
5 Carlos Crespo 1.859-12
6 Jae Ho Cho 1.575-7
7 Dani Sánchez 1.415-7
8 Quyet Chien Tran 1.390-10
9 Jung Han Heo 2.228-11
10 Jean Paul de Bruijn 1.800-8
11 Pedro Piedrabuena 1.750-12
12 Frédéric Caudron 1.725-8
13 Tayfun Tasdemir 1.638-7
14 Xuan Cuong Ma 1.418-8
15 Quoc Nguyen Nguyen 1.415-9
16 Hyung Bum Hwang 1.138-5
17 Adnan Yüksel 1.764-10
18 Torbjörn Blomdahl 1.722-7
19 Sung-Won Choi 1.625-8
20 Marco Zanetti 1.550-8.

The general average in the main tournament: 1.494

The new World ranking:

1 Blomdahl 403 points
2 Sánchez 286
3 Jaspers 284
4 Tasdemir 277
5 Merckx 263
6 Choi 235
7 Zanetti 224
8 Cho 185
9 Forthomme 181
10 Hwang 162
11 Caudron 157
12 Tran 152
13 De Bruijn 149
14 Sidhom 146
15 Coklu 145
16 Piedrabuena 145
17 Heo 144
18 HJ Kim 143
19 Leppens 133
20 Yüksel 127.

The World Cup ranking 2015:

1 Sánchez 208
2 Jaspers 202
3 Blomdahl 196
4 Tasdemir 174
5 Forthomme 130
6 Merckx 126
7 Coklu 114
8 Hwang 109
9 Choi 104
10 Caudron 94.

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My Comments

Your comments pls.
Ho Chi Minh world cup gen. average was 1.776 and Guri world cup was 1.787. Istanbul is 1.494 which % 16.4 relatively lower. What would be the reason? Is it because of tables?

Message 1/5 - Publish at October 22, 2015 4:31 AM

Bert's Facebook group
Hi Ertonoma, we actually discussed this in Bert van Manen's Facebook group (Bert's billiard page), and we had an interesting discussion there. It's not just Istanbul 2015, but for some reason all of the recent World Cups outside Asia in 2014 and 2015 have a general average around 1.5, and the three recent World Cups in Asia (Guri 2014, Ho Chi Minh 2015, Guri 2015) were over 1.7, as you mentioned.

In Guri they use Min tables, in Ho Chi Minh on Hollywood tables, both of which are Korean brand tables. World Cup in Peloponnese also had a general average almost 1.7, and it was played on Vivace tables which are also Korean. Outside of Asia, World Cups are played on Platin, Gabriels, and Carrinho. Lausanne Masters should be interesting, as it will be in Europe, but played on Korean Min brand tables.

I think it is a very interesting thing, that the averages are about 0.2 different in World Cups in Asia compared to outside Asia, but no one can really say for sure why this is the case, we can only guess.

Message 2/5 - Publish at October 22, 2015 7:34 PM

Table standarts !
As far as I remember the Asian tables are longer than Platin. Actually, they are as they should be. Platin is very short and I saw too many hits that were missing because of this fact. On this table the cue ball goes out with very narrow angle especially while turning the corner. Players do their best to adjust this but they waste a couple of innings while doing so and this causes to waste 0.2 average probably. The big picture is that the sport is loosing its chance to being more successful and spectacular.

My opinion, there should be a technical member who works for UMB and is responsible for verifying the quality of equipment prior to tournaments. Tables should be standard to improve this sport definitely and this should be very easy with nowadays' technology.

Message 3/5 - Publish at October 23, 2015 6:56 AM

not only table but players
Players who starts the tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday are generally local players who can attend WC only if tournament is organized in his country.

Averages of local players in Korea and Vietnam are higher than Europeans.

I think this is the main factor.

Message 4/5 - Publish at October 24, 2015 7:16 AM

main tournaments
we are comparing just main tournaments' averages (qualifications excluded)

Message 5/5 - Publish at October 25, 2015 3:34 AM

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