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Raymond Ceulemans at 81 still a sports miracle

Posted by on November 4, 2018

Raymond Ceulemans at 81 still a sports miracle

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Raymond Ceulemans, on the age of 81, a world class match in Dutch league

SLUISKIL -  At the age of 81 the phenom RaymonCeulemans, still has his days when he plays three cushion at world top level. The Belgian sports legend is this year a five-times substitute in the Dallinga team in the Dutch league. He did it today, Sunday, in a home match in Sluiskil with his team, showing the passion and the high class that reminds of his glory years. The Master's performance was magnificent. Ceulemans was the best of the day in Sluiskil (40 in 19 innings) which was  even better than Frédéric Caudron.  It was also much better than his two other teammates and he finished with a brilliant final run of eleven against Nicky van Venrooij (40-14). The maestro was rewarded with thunderous applause from the home crowd in the Dallinga billiard arena.

He was the best of four Ceulemans in the premier league on this seventh match day.  He played to the same average as Eddy Leppens, better than Frédéric Caudron and almost as good as Dick Jaspers, (world champion) and Spaniard David Martinez.  Ceuleman's comment was modest as always with a sense of humour and with a perfect analysis. ,,I am amazed that I can play billiards so well at my age.''

The billiard room should actually be too small for an afternoon with the world's number one and the all time best billiard player in one match. Meerten Dallinga, the team leader, estimated the home crowd to be between 60-70 spectators.  And what does it have to offer?  Besides two world class players, the stands, pleasant seating and good snacks and a drinks. The ambiance? As it should be in a contemporary billiard room. The entrance? all for free!  The spectators in Dallinga's house today must have enjoyed the wonderful performance.  Raymond Ceulemans played his match against 51 year younger Nicky van Venrooij at the start of the afternoon. His opponent, the 30-year-old young man from Brabant, said afterwards with an admirable smile: ,,I am so happy that I could be here in this part of my career: playing against the living legend, the best billiard player ever.''

Ceulemans himself said about the match: ,,I was actually better concentrated than usual. That means I took one, two seconds more for my stroke. All with the good speed, touching the ball where I wanted it, taking care of good positions and always leaving a small hole to escape. Moreover, the billiard table was good and the female referee very good. And a nice audience, so if that's all right, I still can play well. Caudron said later: I saw from the start that you had the right feeling. And let me say this,  I watch the big players many times, like Caudron, who is so incredibly good. And I can say: they don't have to show me twice all those wonderful shots. People asked me afterwards: how is is possible, Mr. Ceulemans, 81 years and play such fantastic billiards? Then I always say: I got it from Mother Nature.'' won the home mtch 6-2: Frédéric Caudron bested Ronny Lindemann (40-11 in 21), Steven van Acker beat Volker Baten (40-26 in 39), only Jean Paul de Bruijn lost to Rudy de Laet (40-36 in 32). The Zeeland team came closer to the leading group by this result.

The heading team, SIS Schoonmaak, won the away match against 't Hartje by the maximum score (8-0) with Glenn Hoffman as best winner against Martin Spoormans (40-28 in 20). STZ Zundert and L&B Ledermode, two of the pursuers, played a 4-4 draw. Eddy Merckx balanced the match with a victory over Roland Forthomme (40-37 in 23). Peter Ceulemans beat Dave Christiani (40-32 in 27), Peter De Backer was the better of Barry van Beers (40-33 in 27), Rik van Beers beat John Tijssens (40-33 in 28).

Dick Jaspers (left) was the better of Martin Horn in the eastern derby

The eastern derby between Bousema Lochem and HCR Prinsen also ended in a draw, so that SIS Schoonmaak is one point further away on top. Dick Jaspers outplayed on centre court Martin Horn after his attack with 8-4-6 around the break: 40-32 in 17, Eddy Leppens bested Stefan Galla in the second part 40-31 in 19. Thanks to these two victories after the break, Prinsen levelled the match. Before the stop, Wesley de Jaeger beat Anno de Kleine (40-28 in 33) and Frans van Schaik took victory against Raymund Swertz (40-31 in 32).

David Martinez was the best day winner in the match between 't Ivoor and Burgman Biljarts. The Spaniard defeated Thorsten Frings 40-25 in 15 innings. 't Ivoor won the match against the number last of the rankings 8-0. Team Eekhoorn recovered from a lesser period by a 7-1 win over A1 Biljarts.

The ranking on top after seven matches:

1 SIS Schoonmaak 13 points
2 L&B Ledermode 11
3 HCR Prinsen 11
4 Bousema Lochem 10
5 STZ Zundert 9
6 8

David Martinez, best player in Dutch league on 7th day



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