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Tasdemir and Merckx: The Challenge and then the long stop

Posted by on November 8, 2020

Tasdemir and Merckx: The Challenge and then the long stop

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Tayfun Tasdemir: ''We complained about full calendars last year, now we should wish we had a full schedule.''

The memory dates back to the last days of the World Cup in Antalya at the start of 2020. Eddy Merckx played his last World Cup so far there and was eliminated in the group stage by Martin Horn, who lost himself to Dinh Nai Ngo in the next round. Tayfun Tasdemir made it to the last eight, where he lost to Nguyen Quoc Nguyen, Jun Tae Kim in the same round to the later winner Dani Sánchez and Murat Naci Coklu in the semi-finals to Dick Jaspers. Five of thwse players (Merckx, Tasdemir, Horn, Coklu and Kim) will take off in in the next 4x10 UMB Challenge this week, the other three players are Roland Forthomme, Jung-Han Heo and Antonio Montes.

The last World Cup was the one and the only this season due to the COVID-19 and for the time being, there is no prospect of a next World Cup. Tayfun Tasdemir: ''We complained last year because there were too many official tournaments and that top players should argue for a two-month holiday without events.'' He now concludes: ''How happy we would be in this era with such a full calendar.''

These days, Eddy Merckx heard that the Belgian Multi championships for January 2021 were removed from the calendar. ''We should be very happy with this Challenge, because after that, we have nothing at least for three or four months.'' Merckx and Tasdemir played against each other in one of the first Challenge events (July 10) in the semi-finals: Merckx won 50 -49 in 12 innings and later won the tournament in the final against Semih Sayginer 50-41 in 12.

The Belgian and the Turk are holding on to practice in all these months without matches. Merckx: ''I play every day, because I love to do it.'' Tasdemir: ''I am super motivated by my new Predator cue'' Just like the Turks, the Belgians are bound by the Corona measures: no tournaments, no competitions and so, only the Challenge.

The tournament kicks off tomorrow, Monday, November 9, with three days of preliminary rounds followed by two days in the final round with four players. The system remains unchanged and promises exciting games. Eddy Merckx and Tayfun Tasdemir are the highest seeded in the world rankings in fourth and fifth place.

The group format is:
Group A:
Eddy Merckx, Martin Horn, Jung-Han Heo, Antonio Montes
Group B: Tayfun Tasdemir, Murat Naci Coklu, Roland Forthomme, Jun Tae Kim.

The matches can be followed live on One Sports tv (facebook and youtube) and Kozoom.

The time table:
Monday 9, Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 November: sessions at 1 pm and 4 pm.
Thursday 12 and Friday 13 November: finals sessions, both days at 2 p.m.

Eddy Merckx, winner in the first UMB Challenge

Murat Naci Coklu, the best of the 8 Challenge players this week in the last World Cup in Antalya

Jun-Tae Kim, one of two Korean players in the Challenge field this week

The group format: two groups with four players

The group format in A and B for the three rounds to reach the finals



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