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Carom Billiard - Carom - European Championship - Brandenburg (GER)

Nicolas Gerassimopoulos beats two world stars

Posted by on April 27, 2015

Nicolas Gerassimopoulos beats two world stars

© Harry van Nijlen/
Nicolas Gerassimopoulos on his way to beat the world class player Jean Paul de Bruijn.

BRANDENBURG AN DER HAVEL - The French Greek Nicolas Gerassimopoulos was responsible for a major upset on the fourth day of the European championships. In the one cushion discipline, he knocked down one of the big favourites for the European title: the Dutchman Jean Paul de Bruijn, whom he beat 100-48 in 10 innings. The six fold European champion De Bruijn had already lost his first match in the group stage against Eddy Leppens 100-99. And after Gerassimopoulos won his first vs Eddy Leppens (100 in 17), he is the undefeated winner in the group.

The 52-year-old Greek said about the match against De Bruijn: ,,I had a good start with a run of 58, but then began to feel the pressure. I know that De Bruijn can make high runs, but I also saw that he was afraid to miss after my high run, because he could not afford to lose again. My tactic at the end was to make point by point without risks. And I finished it well. This is a special victory for me in a group with Jean Paul de Bruijn and Eddy Leppens, who are two world class players in one cushion.''

Nicolas, who moved to Andernos in France for a French girlfriend in his younger years, showed the form he displays already for a few weeks. At a French tournament in Oissel, two weeks ago, Gerassimopoulos finished a match of 120 points in one inning, a match record for France.

The Andernos player was born in Patras, not far from Pelopennesos, on the other side of Italy. He was a sailor man in his youth, later a cook in a restaurant and started his billiards career in France when he was 27. ,,Francis Connesson was my teacher. I have developed my billiards further in my career and now have the qualifications to teach. That's my daily life now.''

As a young sportsman, Gerassimopoulos was a pretty good football playerer in the second division in Greece. ,,But when I was eighteen, I had a serious accident with my motorcycle. I was hit by a tractor and broke both my legs.'' The fractures and other injuries were so complicated, that Nicolas had to stay in the hospital for three years, almost lost his left leg and had six operations. He weighed 130 pounds at that time and only 76 after three years. The reason was that he was infected in the hospital by the bacterium Stafilocoque. That's why he is still laming with his left leg nowadays.''

With his victories against Jean Paul de Bruijn and Eddy Leppens, his name is finally settled at this European one cushion. ,,I did not expect to come through the group stage in this tough group.'' And now that his tournament is a huge success, he's looking for new challenges.

,,We have a next mission with my club Andernos very soon, with Peter De Backer and Bernard Baudoin. The team has qualified for the European Cup for clubs in Rosmalen. The aim is to show up for a good result there.''

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