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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Cup - Cheongju (KOR)

Therese in Korea: mecca of three cushion

Posted by on September 26, 2017

Therese in Korea: mecca of three cushion

© Kozoom/Korea
Therese Klompenhouwer in Korea: hopefully for a wonderful World Cup

CHEONGJU CITY - Her arrival was on Monday evening in Seoul. From now on, waking up with a little jet lag, Therese Klompenhouwer's focus will be at the World Cup in Cheongju City. The best women's player in three cushion, despite the fact that she lost the world title, looks forward to the struggle with the men's world top. It is the start of a long, hard season, in which the Dutch multiple champion will participate in almost all tournaments, both nationally and internationally.

In South Korea, she is part of a small Dutch group, with Dick Jaspers, automatically seeded for the main tournament and Jean Paul de Bruijn. The Europeans are a small minority against the Korean and Vietnamese players. Therese Klompenhouwer would like to shout to everyone to come to Korea: ,,It's such a beautiful country, with friendly people and a great billiards culture.''

She made the trip herself with Chantal, her girlfriend and best fan. ,,We will try to enjoy the culture, but mainly my focus is on the billiards.'' Tomorrow (Wednesday), Therese comes to the arena for the first time in a group with Vietnam's Trung Hau Do Nguyen and a player from Tuesday's qualification. Therese's matches can be followed directly on Kozoom at half past nine and half past six European time.

Kozoom spoke with to the dual world champion and asked about he ambiance, the ambitions and plans for this year.

Kozoom/Frits Bakker: How does it feel to  be back in Korea, the country where you won your last world title, the country of the future in three cushion?
Therese Klompenhouwer: It always feels good to be in Korea, like I've never been away. I feel at home here and always look forward to come here.

Kozoom/FB: How is the weather, the hotel, the match room?
TK: The weather is excellent, just like the hotel. The arena looks tip-top, but I didn't expect anything else. It's always perfect here in Korea.

Kozoom/FB: What are your ambitions when you start in a World Cup, where you meet the men's world top?
TK: My ambition is to reach the main draw again, like I did one time before. I know that is getting more and more difficult, because the level still rises, but that's the same for me. I must play well and be sharp, then I see chances. I know that I can, it only has to be done at that time. I'm in a good form and a good period, I have to keep it up.

Kozoom/FB: What was your best result ever in a World Cup?
TK: My best result was in 2014. Then, also here in Korea, I reached the main draw I beat two Vietnamese players in the first qualification and then Savas Bulut and Takeshima O in the last. In the main tournament I had to play Torbjörn Blomdahl and lost 40-20 in 12 innings. I ended up 21st with a 1.333 general average.

Kozoom/FB: What does it mean to you, to play a World Cup: gaining experience, meeting strong opponents? You know that there's only a small chance to get very far?
TK: Gaining experience is still important. I take that with me into my competitions and the Grand Prix tournaments. I know I have sailed some seas, already, and have become mentally stronger. I can beat big names, because I play them more often.
Kozoom/FB: These World Cups, are they a kind of trips, for example, with Chantal, to see something of the world?
TK: No, I don't consider it to be a holiday. Of course, we try to have some fun with everything that's happening around us. We also enjoy this and we appreciate that very much. But I'm here to play a World Cup, to give it all the way and to get it as far as possible.

Kozoom/FB: There are very few Dutch, Belgians and French players who traveled to Korea. That's because of the high cost, of course. But still... the best Dutch players have a privilege, get a fee from the federation to play World Cups? And yet, there is very little interest?
TK: I don't know what the reason is that there is little interest from the Netherlands and Belgium. This is a very nice World Cup in a country where billiards is very big. Many billiard clubs, many good players and incredibly billiards-minded. So, for billiards this is the mecca, definitely worth the trip to come here.

Kozoom/FB: How's this season looking like for you? Where do want to have you your peaks?
TK: I play in three leagues, in addition to all World Cups and Grand Prix tournaments. It's nice that I've already placed for the Dutch Masters. I would really like to peak there. I don't know how it happens, but I always perform far below my level there. I would like to improve myself in the Masters. Furthermore, I can take my tenth Dutch ladies title. I will give some lessons this season and some clinics and demonstrations. 

Kozoom/FB: Who will be your big rivals for the next few years, except Orie Hida?
TK: I see a lot of progress with the Korean ladies, so I think they will be big competitors in the future. The Japanese ladies are always strong opponents, not just Hida. I hope Europe will also improve with the ladies, because the level in Asia will only rise. We must try to keep up with them in Europe.

Kozoom/FB: Do you see progress in general, in women's billiards? And do you feel that you are still making progress yourself?
TK: Yes, I see progress, but I would like to go faster. I still wanted to have a few more, big ladies tournaments. I really hope that will change in the future. That we don't have only one World or European championship per year but just two or three other international tournaments. That would be great.

Kozoom/FB: How was your summer? Hard work? Took a holiday?
TK: As always, I worked in my father's restaurant this summer. I work in the kitchen, making long days. Still, I did a little less than other years. I've been to New York for two weeks for the Jennifer Shim tournament and the Verhoeven Open. That was my holiday, haha. Because no, a real holiday was not possible in my full billiards schedule this year.

Kozoom/FB: You're going to do some work as a coach for the federation?
TK: Yes, that's correct. I started this month as one of the KNBB federal trainers. Together with Jean Paul de Bruijn, Raimond Burgman and Barry van Beers. The federation wants to give youngsters and talents the opportunity to develop further in three cushion. Between 15 and 20 players have been selected. They work with one of the four trainers. We will take control over those players for a year now and then look further.

Kozoom/FB: Have you seen any sport in the last few weeks? World championship cycling, with the great Dutch successes? Football?
TK: Certainly no cycling. I'm not a big cycling lover like you. I watch football, but not too much. I play billiards, so there's not so much time to watch.
Kozoom/FB: Can you tell something about Korean life: the food, the people, the city where you're going to play now?
TK: I feel very good in Korea. The people are extremely friendly and hospitable. The food is delicious, especially the Korean barbecue! I enjoy to meet with the Kimchi team. We are one big family and I'm happy to be part of it!!

Kozoom/FB: Will you visit Kimchi, your sponsor?
TK: No, unfortunately, I think there's no time for that. I arrived on Monday and traveled right to Cheongju, which is almost a three hour drive from Kimchi's room. Because I have to play tomorrow, there was no time to stay longer in Seoul.

Kozoom/FB: How long do you stay in Korea?
TK: I fly home on Monday, because I have to play in the Belgian league that evening. If my schedule had allowed, I would have stayed longer, but it wasn't possible this year.

Therese Klompenhouwer in front of the venue where the World Cup is played


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