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Spoormans can do anything, except drink whisky

Posted by on January 9, 2013

Spoormans can do anything, except drink whisky

© Dirk Acx
Martin Spoormans, a big smile, a glass of whisky and a world class match.

BLANKENBERGE – Martin Spoormans shook his grey curls from time to time, as if to say to the audience and his opponent: ,,I can’t help it, folks”, only to follow that with a grin on face, because he had once again produced one of his notorious flukes.

But in spite of the clucks, the 63 year old, indefatigable Belgian, who excels in many billiards disciplines, entertained the audience in the Blankenberge casino and produced a high-quality match. He needed to win his last match in the prelims to make it into the final draw, and did so with vigor against Iwan Stitschinsky, Martin Spoormans, who plays and referees on a daily basis.

Without high runs, he played with impressive regularity. Starting with 4, 4, 3 and 3, finishing with 4, 3, 2, 2 and 5: a 40 – 12 victory in 13 innings (3.067).

As usual, he himself was not too impressed. In the dressing room, he drew out a few positions and explained: ,,If you play it like this, you have two chances”, but mostly explained about the burdensome week he is having.

,,Today, I am also refereeing four matches, and I had already played a match in the free game prior to this 3-cushion match. So I knew the table, it was shorter than the other two. I like that, and I have used it to my advantage.''

Tomorrow there’s another marathon: four matches as referee (eight hours), then, in the last evening session an encounter with Eddy Merckx. That is one hell of a day…

Martin Spoormans can do everything in Blankenberge, except drink whisky.

On Monday he had a little faux pas, he admitted, the day before his match against Thomas Broux.

,,I was walking around late afternoon and came across a friend. He invited me over to his home, we opened a bottle of whisky and polished it off together. I then went to the billiard room, sat in the VIP box with Raymond Ceulemans, but tripped as I tried to get up. I don’t remember it at all. It seems they drove me off in a wheelchair.''

By now, that’s water under the bridge.

,,It’s a tough week, but I can still handle it. I won a golf tournament on saturday, on sunday I beat Jermy Bury in Amsterdam, and on Monday I arrived in Blankenberge.''

,,On Tuesday I lost to Thomas Broux after those exploits the day before. But I made up for it in my match against Stitschinsky.''

Martin Spoormans can do anything. ,,But I am off the whisky, I am switching back to Duvels (Belgian beer).''

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