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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - International Open Alcaldía Feria de Manizales - Manizales (COL)

South Americans start with 300 players in Manizales

Posted by on January 2, 2022

South Americans start with 300 players in Manizales

© Kozoom
The last winner José Melo is among the participants again

MANIZALES - 300 billiard players from Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Panama and Venezuela will launch the International tournament Alcaldia Feria de Manizales in Colombia. The event is one of the most famous tournaments in South America with legendary winners in its long history. Famous Korean Sang Chun Lee won the tournament in 1999 and 2000. Luis Aveiga from Ecuador has the most victories since 1994, the year the tournament started in a billiard hall in the city. Aveiga won in 1997, 2006 and 2013. Sang Lee, Javier Terán, Huberney Cataño, Arley Galeano, Henry Díaz and Rodolfo Covarrubias have all won twice.

More than a year after the start of the COVID era, another big participation is guaranteed with many well-known players. José Melo is the defending champion. The reigning champion tells in an interview with Kozoom what his life has been like after winning in 2020.

Kozoom: You were the last winner in Manizales. What were you doing during the time of the Covid crisis?
José Melo: The year 2020 was a very difficult year for me. My mother died as a result of the virus and the economic activities in my commercial sector were not the best to live with.

Kozoom: Will you defend the title this year?
José Melo: Yes, this year I am participating from the preliminaries. I thought that as current champion, I would have privileges, but no, apparently all players start from zero and there are no privileges for anyone.

Kozoom: How was the preparation for the tournament?
José Melo: I had no time to train due to my economic circumstances. So, I had a lot of work, all I do is play with my friends every eight days.

Kozoom: Did you ever expect to win this tournament?
José Melo: The truth is that I never thought about it. I play several national competitions during the year, just to be able to measure myself against other players. I do it because I enjoy it. It was even the first time that I played in the city of Manizales.

Kozoom: How did you manage to survive all those rounds, how did you experience the tournament in which you were able to win so unexpectedly?
José Melo: The format of the tournament is very short, which implies that I had to be concentrated from the beginning, achieve quick victories and become more and more confident against my rivals.

Kozoom: How do you win the Feria tournament, what is the secret?
José Melo: You have to keep a good focus all the time, winning the breakshot in the first set is the key to success. I played several games with high averages. And I managed to minimise missing the easy positions. This sport is about making few mistakes, and punishing your opponent when he does. But also defending when necessary. In addition, it is important to be careful with drinking and not to eat food that is heavy on the stomach before a game.

The tournament starts on Monday 3 January with the knockout stages, sets of 15 points. The draw for the first 30 groups will be made at the end of Sunday afternoon.

Full stands in one of the last events in Manizales


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