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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Championship - Donghae Gangwon (KOR)

Tayfun Tasdemir: champion loved all over the world

Posted by on November 13, 2022

 Tayfun Tasdemir: champion loved all over the world

© Life Time Photo
Tayfun Tasdemir, the world champion, with the trophy and the flowers

DONGHAE CITY - The magnificent tribute was to Tayfun Tasdemir, the world title finally went to the top Turkish player who is so popular and loved all over the world. The 47-year-old Turk won the world championship in Donghae City, South Korea, this Sunday afternoon in a totally unexpected final match against Spaniard Ruben Legazpi (40). The battle for World champion gold turned into a one-man show: Tayfun played a superior match, beating Legazpi thanks to runs of 9, 8, 9 and 8, 50-14 in 15 innings. Two of the major champions were defeated on Sunday morning: Tasdemir won against Dick Jaspers, Legazpi against Eddy Merckx. Dick Jaspers remained the world number one ahead of Dani Sánchez, the new champion Tayfun Tasdemir rising to third place. Next year, Tasdemir may defend his world title in his own country: the World championship will then be held in Ankara.

Tayfun Tasdemir, always amiable, always friendly to opponents and fans, reacted overjoyed at winning the most coveted title in three-cushion. He received the trophy of best in the world, the top prize of 20,000 euros and is also rewarded by the Turkish government with a big, one-off cash prize: between 30,000 and 50,000 euros. Tayfun, married and father of a son: ''Winning the world title, the highest in our sport, is so important for me, for my family and for my country. I worked towards the event with a lot of ambition, a lot of commitment and training. At the last World Cup, I said to Jaspers and Sánchez: whatever happens at the World championship, I want that title. I am so happy I did it.''

The new champion, who dethroned Dick Jaspers, took the individual world gold for the second time in history for his country following Semih Sayginer in Valladolid in 2003. Three times, Tayfun became world champion with Turkey for nation teams, twice he won a World Cup. But most of all, the individual world title brought about many emotions to Tasdemir and the huge constituency of Turkish players and billiards fans. Murat Naci Coklu already was very close to it last year in Sharm El Sheikh, when he lost the final to Dick Jaspers.

In the Korean billiard arena, where the stands were usually only half-filled and the home country was no longer competing for the podium places on the final days, Tasdemir crowned a magnificent World championship with victories over two Koreans in the preliminary round, Sung Won Choi in the first knock-outs (50-28 in 34), Roland Forthomme (50-38 in 21) and in his last three sessions world-class matches against Nikos Polychronopoulos (50-18 in 16, 3.125 on average), Dick Jaspers (a power stroke with 50-47 in 20, 2.500) and in the final Ruben Legazpi (50-14 in 15, 3.333).

''I was so focused on the title that after my game against Dick Jaspers, which was a fantastic fight, where I was able to strike with 13 and 9 at the end, I went to my room to lock myself up. That may have been an advantage over Ruben Legazpi, who didn't get so much rest before the final. I realized, of course, how big the title was that I could win: it's a dream for all the players in the world. I was at peak concentration, I was in my best form and managed to finish great. And it's a title for life, I can't believe, so unforgettably wonderful.''

The latter champion was not threatened for a moment in the final match. Tayfun started with 9, ran out around the 10th innings with 4, 8 and 3 to 33-12 and was ruthless to Legazpi once more in his last two innings with final runs of 9 and 8.

The 74th world championship, in one of the Koreans' strongholds, not only got two finalists who never won a world title before. The championship also went to a final gala without Koreans, Vietnamese and South Americans, to further emphasize the supremacy of the European players. Haeng Jik Kim was the last Korean to disappear from the podium, beaten by Eddy Merckx. Jun Tae Kim, Duc Anh Chien Nguyen and Murat Naci Coklu were already eliminated in the group stage. Marco Zanetti started as one of the main contenders (50-14 in 15 against Aveiga). Torbjörn Blomdahl was defeated in the first knock-outs by Myung Woo Cho, Semih Sayginer by Sameh Sidhom. The eight field for the quarter-finals already counted seven Europeans and Haeng Jik Kim, the remaining four for the final day were Dick Jaspers, Eddy Merckx, Tayfun Tasdemir and Ruben Legazpi. And so it finally went to Tayfun Tasdemir's glorious day.

The final ranking for the World championship in Donghae City:
1 Tayfun Tasdemir 14-2.244-13
2 Rubern Legazpi 10-1.638-11
3 Eddy Merckx 10-1.841-11
4 Dick Jaspers 9-1.859-14
5 Haeng Jik Kim 8-2.019-12
6 Marco Zanetti 8-1.798-12
7 Nikos Polychronopoulos 8-1.500-13
8 Jérémy Bury 6-1.695-9
9 Myung Woo Cho 6-2.273-12
10 Dani Sánchez 6-1.863-7
11 Michael Nilsson 6-1.731-8
12 Quyet Chien Tran 6-1.673-16
13 Hong Chiem Thai 6-1.344-9
14 Dion Nelin 4-1.883-16
15 Roland Forthomme 4-1.676-14
16 Sameh Sidhom 4-1.546-9
(Highest average: Myung Woo Cho  2.273, highest runs Quyet Chien Tran and Dion Nelin 16).
The next World championship is in Ankara next year, 2023. The Worlds for men 6-10 September, for ladies 12-16 September, for juniors 15-17 September.

Tayfun Tasdemir, showing his joy after the winning point

Tayfun Tasdemir, world champion for the first time in his career

The world championship stage: Tayfun Tasdemir, Ruben Legazpi, Dick Jaspers, Eddy Merckx

Ruben Legazpi

Eddy Merckx

Dick Jaspers

The top 20 at the world ranking after the Worlds in Korea:

1 Dick Jaspers 531

2 Dani Sánchez 488
3 Tayfun Tasdemir 318
4 Torbjörn Blomdahl 316
5 Sameh Sidhom 314
6 Marco Zanetti 301
7 Eddy Merckx 282
8 Quyet Chien Tran 282
9 Haeng Jik Kim 269
10 Semih Sayginer 261
11 Jérémy Bury 211
12 Jung Han Heo 200
13 Nikos Polychronopoulos 190
14 Martin Horn 186
15 Jun Tae Kim 162
16 Myung Woo Cho 149
17 Sung Won Choi 148
18 Murat Naci Coklu 146
19 Choong Bok Lee 139
20 Ruben Legazpi 135.



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