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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - Worldchampionship National Teams - Viersen (GER)

Three top countries and one outsider

Posted by on March 12, 2017

Three top countries and one outsider

© Kozoom/Korea
The French team celebrates the victory over Sweden to reach the semi-finals

VIERSEN - Three renowned countries in the 3-cushion and one outsider will play the semifinals tomorrow, and decide who is the 2017 national team world champion. The Festhalle in Viersen prepares for a final day without the German home team, but as a consolation, it can look forward to interesting semifinals between the Dutch title holders and Belgium (10.00 AM) and South Korea taking on France (12.00).

The knock-out stage on this penultimate day, with quality play by stars like Dick Jaspers, Tayfun Tasdemir, Torbjörn Blomdahl, Sung-Won Choi, Martin Horn and others gave the tournament the shine and tension it needed. The Belgians made headlines against Germany with their majestic run of 20, the French ousted seven-time winners Sweden, helped by a run of 14, and the Dutch A-team (Jaspers and van Erp) had to dig deep to make a comeback against Netherlands B. The reigning champions showed character and produced 34 points in 8 innings, to turn a 23-6 backlog into a win.

The traditional WC, now given a new lease of life with the Scotch Double format (four players, two teams of two, all in one match) had a hesitant start and quickly found its advocates and prosecutors. The knowledgeable Viersen crowd was suspicious at first, but after two days there were signs of acceptance and appreciation.

UMB-president Farouk Barki announced another important change. Next year, in the 2018 edition, the number of participating teams will be reduced from 24 to 16. In the new format, four flights will have four teams of two players, with two teams from every flight advancing to the K.O. quarterfinals. ,,That will increase the quality, but it will require a more restrictive invitation policy.''

Fewer countries, a higher level, and again the Scotch Double for the world's best to compete in. That will be the next step for this organization. Three of the top countries, with France as a relative outsider fourth, will compete in Viersen on Sunday. The Belgians ( Frédéric Caudron and Roland Forthomme) are ready to grab back power. The Dutch (title holders) had to dig themselves out of a hole to fight off their second team. The two Koreans, friends who have travelled to many World Cups together, were superior against the Turks. The French team is easily the revelation of this event, playing without Jérémy Bury, but with seasoned Jérôme Barbeillon and coming man Cédric Melnytschenko.

The quarterfinals:

Belgium - Germany 40-34 (17)

The Belgians have a slow start (20-10 in 9 to Germany) but they turn the match around with a monumental run. It's 22-15 when  Frédéric Caudron and Roland Forthomme go to the table and break the German spine with 20 consecutive points. The home team still enjoys the loud support of the crowd, but can't make up for the 20. Frédéric Caudron comments: ,,It looks like we're getting used to the new format.''

France-Sweden 40-35 (25)

The Swedes attack with a run of 9, to make it 20-14 at halftime. The second half of the match is dominated by the French: Jérôme Barbeillon and Cédric Melnytschenko, the veteran and the prodigy. In synch with the Belgians on the other table, they start to produce and run a 14 to set the match on fire. It's a tense affair until the end. The Swedes get back to 36-34 which becomes 39-34, and the French miss four times before they cross the finish line. Cédric Melnytschenko makes the final point, and Torbjörn Blomdahl can't equalize, five points from the finish.


Netherlands A - Netherlands B 40-29 (19)

The match looks like an upset at first. Raimond Burgman and Barry van Beers get out of the blocks fresh and quick, to surprise the reigning world champions. ,,We could do nothing more than sit and watch'', said Dick Jaspers later. The B-team had its biggest lead at 23-6 in 11. Jaspers: ,,I gave my teammate a good pep-talk at halftime, and then things started to work for us.'' Runs of 7, 8 and 6 completely turned the match around in favor of Netherlands A. The B-team froze up, the A-team showed its resilience and class.


South Korea - Turkey 40-24 (27)

The Korean 3-cushion stronghold was in the final once (2015) and would love to go one better this year. They dealt with a surprisingly meek Turkey. Sung-Won Choi and Jae Guen Kim  were in charge all the way, Tayfun Tasdemir and Can Capak could not make an impression. The Asians went from 10-4 and 13-8 to 21-11 and 26-19, to decide matters without being under serious threat from the Turks. The Korean winners were all smiles before the camera, and announced their intentions for tomorrow with the traditional battle-cry.


Those quarterfinals lead to the following line-up for the semis on Sunday:

Netherlands (Dick Jaspers/Jean van Erp) against Belgium (Frédéric Caudron/Roland Forthomme).

South Korea (Sung-Won Choi/Jae Guen Kim) against France (Jérôme Barbeillon/Cédric Melnytschenko).



Caudron and Forthomme discuss a shot

Netherlands A and Netherlands B


Melnytschenko, a coming man


Jae Guen Kim and Sung Won Choi, colleagues and friends

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