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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Championship - Randers (DEN)

The miracle of Blomdahl's come-back with the world title

Posted by on December 1, 2019

The miracle of Blomdahl's come-back with the world title

© Kozoom Studio
Torbjörn Blomdahl showing the joy on the world stage after he won the world title

RANDERS - The Swedish national anthem, his 80-year-old father Lennart in the stands, in the crowded room with spectators and with the champion who could barely control his emotions. Who would ever have thought it: Torbjörn Blomdahl, shining with the world title again in Randers, Denmark, in front of countless cameras, in a field with all the champions of his generation and a many new, young talents. And mainly after a few minor years of the six-time world champion and second best player in three cushion history in the steps of the eternal legend Raymond Ceulemans.

The only person who could still threaten him on Saturday evening in the final match was the Vietnamese Duc Anh Chien Nguyen, 36 years of old, a newcomer, but a feared competitor for the coming years. That final already had a magical start for Torbjörn Blomdahl: a run of seven, a lead with 14-0, 16-2 and 22-3, so the match actually seemed over before the stop. But still, anyone who watched this small, little bit shy Duc Anh Chien before, will know that he will never give up and always keeps fighting. Blomdahl also experienced that after the break. The score first went up to 27-6, but then, the Vietnamese suddenly turned on the turbo and slowly came back to 27-12, 27-18, 30-24 and even 31-30.

The spectators jumped up straight, the scoreboard ticked on in Vietnamese favour... it would not come true that this Asian man, inexperienced, could still beat the boss, the big and top-notch Blomdahl? And no, it just didn't get that far anymore. The Swedish whirlwind went to the end with runs of 6 and 3 for a score of 40-30. Duc Anh Chien appealed to his forces one more time, started for the equalizer with 1, 2, to 4, 5, 6 and 7, but then missed out on three points from the end.

The joy, finally, came over Torbjörn Blomdahl, the Swedish miracle, the hurricane, the whirlwind, the gold digger of three cushion and whatever nicknames he all was given in his long career, that wonderful joy could finally shine from the 57-year-old Swedish, brand new world champion for the seventh time in his career. On stage with Duc Anh Chien, the coming man from distant Vietnam, with Semih Sayginer, who made his glorious come back to the top of the world, but was not still awarded by his second world title and with Sameh Sidhom, the youngest of the finalists, the Egyptian, still, unfortunately, with too many ups and downs in his career.

Torbjörn Blomdahl on stage again for his second world title in three cushion

The best four after the World championship: Torbjörn Blomdahl with the trophy on top, Duc Anh Chien Nguyen, the number two (left), Sameh Sidhom and Semih Sayginer (r), the numbers three en four

The new world champion in his finest moment: in the arms of his 80-year old father Lennart Blomdahl

Tobjörn Blomdahl later made his round-up: little bit of luck with those curious, almost incredible two runs of 8 in the shoot-outs against Lütfi Cenet and Eddy Merckx. "I needed that bit of luck, otherwise I might have been out." The story of his father in the stands, who apparently had given him just a little more mental power to win this new title. ''I knew, thinking about last months, that I was doing better physically. That I started to play, felt that my feelings came back, because I practiced more and therefore felt good. My illness had disturbed me a bit, but I am completely better again."

''Ther were some bizarre games, with big margins, fighting back in precarious situations and of course, I should never lose to the Vietnamese in the final after such a huge lead, such a big gap to bridge. But I allowed him to come back, I stopped scoring for a while, so then he even came so far into the match that he was only two points down anymore. Of course, I felt some stress, I felt a bit uncomfortable, but then, luckily, I woke up in right on time. And still it wasn't over yet: he had to make ten from the spots and only stopped at three from the end...''

He analysed his opponent showing lots of respect: ''I did know him for a while, we both play with a Molinari cue, we sometimes practice together and give exhibitions when we get there. I had seen him coming, it was not out of the blue. He is a player with a great technique, a stroke of gold. He can play very well on positions and score feared high runs. Doing that, he won the semi-finals against Sayginer. And it also brought him very close to the end when we were in the final. We must say: he did not play a fantastic average: around 1,500 overall. Then you can say: it is special that you get that far. With a little luck here and there, but mostly thanks to his great qualities. At the end, I am not only very happy that I have been able to win, but most of all that I have stopped him and could beat this Vietnamese, because he is very, very dangerous."

The semi-finals in a nutshell:

Torbjörn Blomdahl-Sameh Sidhom 40-18 (10)
The uphill line in Torbjörn Blomdahl's performance reached a new high in the match against Sameh Sidhom. The 32-year-old graduated dentist from Cairo stood in a semi-final for the first time in a mayor event since 2017 (World Games), but was overpowered by Blomdahl from the start. The Swede started with 12, followed with 6, 0 and 5 and after four of Sidhom's misses, the score was 23-0 in four innings.

"My most important mistake was that I lost the match for who could start from the spots'', the Egyptian said in his commentary after Blomdahl's finish at the end with 11. Sidhom scored 4, 4, 4 and 2 to close and made the score slightly milder: 40-18 in 10, averages 4,000 and 1,800. ''Now I am very disappointed, but tomorrow, surely, I will be satisfied with my tournament, although I must confess that it was not my best. I was good enough to win all my matches until the semi-final, because I seemed to be better than my opponents at the end.'' Sidhom won successively against Maréchal (40-25), Abdin (40-38), Myung Woo Cho (40-34), Forthomme (40-40 and 4-1) and Polychronopoulos (40-27).

His admiration for Torbjörn Blomdahl was immense after they faced. Sidhom: ''I knew he was always getting better, because the three of us, Polychronopoulos, Blomdahl and I, we practiced a lot when we were in Korea a few weeks ago. Practice in the morning, exhibitions in the evening. He gained confidence and form. What I have seen here, at the World championship, is incredible. In ten years, I haven't seen TB play so good as what he is doing now."

Blomdahl and Sidhom in the match for the semi-finals

Torbjörn Blomdahl, waiting for the point

Sameh Sidhom, trying to find his way back in the semis

Duc Anh Chien Nguyen-Semih Sayginer 40-36 (21)
The undisturbed Vietnamese reached the final of a World championship for the first time in his not so long career, but for sure in the most important tournament of the year. Semih Sayginer, first and last world champion so far in 2003, was one of the highfliers at this world stage, among other things by eliminating the title holder Dick Jaspers. Still, he could not peak at the right moment and capitulated for Duc Anh Chien Nguyen. The podium place in Veghel's World Cup in Veghel showd the way up. There, the new star told his story for the first time (late start, good business with his wife) and there, in Holland, was eventually knocked out by HaengJik Kim, the later winner.

Here, in Randers, Nguyen first took a lead against Sayginer (20-13), the Turkish stylist came back with 9 (to 22-20), but fate fell to the side of the amiable Duc Anh Chien after the 33-33 in 18. With runs of three and four, 'Ducky' passed the finish line, happy with his final place on the world stage.

Semih Sayginer, ten minutes after the game in his commentary afterwards: ''It was a bad game for me, which never went my way. I tried to give it all, but it didn't work. When I got some grip on the game, it was too late. My opponent finished with four. I had to equalize with 7, but missed out on four from the end.''

''I am happy that I didn't lose my position on the rankings. And of course, like everyone else, I really wanted to win, but there is only one winner. I wish the players good luck for the final.''

Duc Anh Chien after his win in the semi-finals over Sayginer

Semih Sayginer in the semi-finals: I tried my best, but it was not my game

The 72nd World championship was preceded by the death of a billiard icon: 77-year-old Nobuaki Kobayashi, main rival of Raymond Ceulemans in the glory years of the Belgian grandmaster. He died in his country Japan on the eve of the starting day in Randers. The two times world champion was commemorated during the opening ceremony and overwhelmed by great attention all over the world in the days that followed. Kobayashi won two world title three cushion in his career and two world titles with Japan.

The World championship started with 48 players from 23 countries, 32 of whom qualified after the preliminary rounds. The best player in that first pre-round was Eddy Merckx with a 40-points win in 13 innings and a high run of 18. Roland Forthomme played a fantastic 40 in 11 to beat Blomdahl in the group, the only loss for the Swede. The match between Dion Nelin and Jae-Ho Cho had a historic character. The Dane and the Korean played 40-40 in 11, one of the very best 'combined' matches all time with runs of sixteen for Nelin and 14 for Cho. The shoot-out ended in a 5-2 win for Nelin.

Torbjörn Blomdahl, who already eliminated Lütfi Cenet in a shoot-out, 8-2, launched his new triumph in the next 'sixteen' round. The Swede faced Eddy Merckx after a thrilling match (40-40 in 22) and ended in a rarely shown clash in the shoot-out: Merckx started with 7, Blomdahl replied with 8. Dion Nelin defeated Martin Horn in the same round in the shoot-out (1-0) and Sameh Sidhom outplayed Roland Forthomme, 4-1. Dick Jaspers had to said goodbye to his world title after a loss to Semih Sayginer: 40-29 in 20).

In the next round (last 8), Blomdahl knocked out the last Dane in the tournament: Dion Nelin was beaten 40-19 in 17. The four players for the final day were Blomdahl, Sidhom, Sayginer and Nguyen, which eventually led to a final won by Torbjörn Blomdahl, followed by the revelation, Vietnamese Duc Anh Chien Nguyen.

Duc Anh Chien, the tension on his face for the last points in the final

Torbjörn Blomdahl finished the World championship with2,121 on average.

The new UMB ranking after Randers:

1 - Dick Jaspers 422
2 - Eddy Merckx 344
3 - Torbjörn Blomdahl 295
4 - Marco Zanetti 282
5 - Haeng-Jik Kim 280
6 - Sameh Sidhom 255
7 - Tayfun Tasdemir 255
8 - Tran Quyet Chien 242
9 - Frédéric Caudron 234, suspended
10 - Semih Sayginer 229
11 - Murat Naci Coklu 214
12 - Jae-Ho Cho 206
13 - Myung-Woo Cho 205
14 - Nguyen Duc Anh Chien 204
15 - Lütfi Cenet 203
16 - Jérémy Bury 193
17 - Dani Sanchez 187
18 - Martin Horn 175
19 - Roland Forthomme 175
20 - Dion Nelin 173




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My Comments

Perfect carom tables at Randers WC
Sincere congratulations to Mr.Blomdahl for his great come back after sour seasons.
Warmest encouragement towards young players mostly from Asia and a few other countries.
They need some more years of overall experience and matches against world top players.

Extremely amazed to watch the table conditions, providing players with near perfect responses to any kind of shots.
I envy Denmark has such fantastic carom match tables despite of rather small carom population.

I have been watching UMB Worldcups and WCs through Kozoom (although Live streams had troubles frequently) last a few years, but never saw such good table condition during the whole period.

My compliments to the superb Danish organizer of this 2019 WC Individual.

Message 1/7 - Publish at December 1, 2019 1:14 PM

Veterans vs. New comers
A few more comments.
I feel like watching both beautiful sunset and fresh sunrise in recent UMB events.
I wish new challengers will be more successful in future UMB events so that new breeze will arrive into the competitions. Same players, same winners, repeated encounter between same players will never bring better future to this sport. Of course, I also wish veteran players will strongly fight back the new comers to make the sport more exciting.

Although Mr.Sidhom was on the podium of this WC, I can not admit his new UMB ranking is above TT, TQC, SS, MNC, JHC, MWC, LC, JB, DS, MH,and RF.(Mr.Sidhom is definitely a decent player, but...)
Not to mention, SWC, JHH and NQN.

FC on 9th (suspended? How long?) is another non-sense. No need. Does it make UMB and CEB happier?

Last but not least, I do not find the photos of UMB President, CEB President and most importantly the honorable organizer Denmark DDBU President in the WC News and articles here.
Any reason or explanation? Thanks.

Message 2/7 - Publish at December 3, 2019 6:15 PM

Blomdahl win was tarnished by Caudron's absence.

Message 3/7 - Publish at December 6, 2019 7:05 PM

Caudron the "Goat"..
Without Caudron, the game/tournament lost some of it value. The excitement is not the same.

Message 4/7 - Publish at December 7, 2019 12:37 PM

Though TB deserves all the credit for his great victory, Caudron’s “absence” leaves the billiard world with a bad taste. The undisputed best player in the world was not allowed to play due to the greed of a handful of so called leaders. UMB and it’s directors (mainly Barki) are not doing any good with their posture.
It is all about greed, and the world knows it.

Message 5/7 - Publish at December 8, 2019 3:12 PM

Well deserved victory to Torbjörn Blomdahl
@ really
"FC on 9th. (suspended? How long?)" To the best of my knowledge, each PBA participation carries with it a one year suspension - to the suspension limit mentioned in the UMB statutes, which is 3 years. So, the A to your Q is: 3 years, counting from the last PBA appearance
Of course, a negotiated deal between PBA and UMB (should that happen), would revoke the suspensions immediately.

@ jerseychris, Knguyen, Huicoh22
The only World Class player not present in Randers (DK) was Caudron, (Kasi was World Champion 10 years ago, so by all means, let´s call him World Class player too). The rest of them? Quality players, but - please inform me, have ANY single one of them won a tournament of any significance?

Blomdahl´s victory was not tarnished at all, he played a great tournament and hugely deserved the title. With Caudron not present, there were only 20 World class players in the field, instead of 21. So the tournament lost approximately. 5 % value.
Trust me, from row one at the venue, no one was left with a bad taste. We watched world class carom, probably in top 3 of championships - ever.

Quite frankly, I think this eternal bashing of UMB tournaments is disrespectful towards the huge majority of great players, who are still a part of the UMB community.

UMB, as well as PBA, are handling this conflict very badly. You are being naive, if you seriously think, that only UMB are to blame for this charade.

Bottom line: I would welcome Caudron back in a second, along with Eddy Leppens, Kasi, Glenn H. and the rest of the guys. But the fact is, that when they made their choice, they did it with open eyes, fully aware of what was coming from UMB.
Instead of trash-talking UMB tournaments, that - at worst - are very marginally influenced by the choices of a handful of players - Enjoy. This week: World Cup in Sharm-al-Sheikh - december 20th: Continental Cup, with the best (almost), that Asia and Europe have on display.

Message 6/7 - Publish at December 8, 2019 9:32 PM

Mr. Tlau..5% not that simple
Just name a few, do you really think Michael Jordan (in basketball), Messi (in soccer), or Tiger Woods (in golf) at their best has the same value/popularity as other professionals in their field? If so, why they get paid so much more? Do you really think that Caudron at the same level/popularity as 5% of 20 world class players? When you mention 3-cushions/carom, not everybody know all the top players, but "Caudron" the best everybody know. So, he got to be alot more respected then 5% value.

Message 7/7 - Publish at December 9, 2019 3:28 AM

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