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Top billings at World Games: Jaspers-Blomdahl and Sánchez-Merckx

Posted by on July 15, 2022

 Top billings at World Games: Jaspers-Blomdahl and Sánchez-Merckx

© Touch Magazine
Dani Sánchez, one of the best winners, facing Eddy Merckx in the quarters

BIRMINGHAM - Two of the most famous billiard players in the world of three-cushion will launch today, Friday, the final phase at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama. Torbjörn Blomdahl and Dick Jaspers, two multiple world champions, open the gala with the best eight players at the Olympiad for a place in the semi-finals, followed by Dani Sánchez and Eddy Merckx. The Sheraton hotel, with its three well-known billiard disciplines in the ballroom (three-cushion, snooker and pool) still has to deal without live images on the day when four European world top players face off against two Colombians, a Vietnamese and a Japanese in a fight for the medals. From the start on this Friday, the European cracks will enter the arena first: at 18.30 (European time) Dick Jaspers against Torbjörn Blomdahl, and at 21.00 Dani Sánchez against Eddy Merckx.

Dani Sánchez, Dick Jaspers, Eddy Merckx and Torbjörn Blomdahl had already qualified for the best eight of the tournament in Alabama. On the second day of the preliminaries, there was another success for Colombians Jose Juan Garcia and Pedro Gonzalez, Vietnamese Quyet Chien Tran and Japanese Kouji Funaki.

The Japanese, a 52-year old veteran in this company, beat Marco Zanetti surprisingly 40-23 in 15 innings. Funaki will play in the next round with the best eight against Pedro Gonzalez, the Colombian champion who defeated Sameh Sidhom 40-34 in 34 innings. Quyet Chien Tran is the Vietnamese who went on to the best eight after winning over Javier Teran (40-19 in 9) in the best match so far. Jose Juan Garcia, the young Colombian, stunted against Tayfun Tasdemir with 40-35 in 29 innings.

Three of seven Europeans were eliminated in the first round. Martin Horn disappeared from the tournament by losing against Torbjörn Blomdahl. Tayfun Tasdemir bowed to young Colombian Jose Juan Garcia in one of the least matches so far. Tasdemir kept up until a 15-14 score, but fell behind in a part of the match where the Turk only scored twice in 8 innings. Still, a run of 10 in the 26th inning brought him back to 33-32, but Garcia finished with 4 and 3 for a score of 40-35.

Marco Zanetti squandered his chances against a Japanese, who is not a great World Cup performer, but is still among the better Asians. Kouji Funaki, whose 21-year-old son Shota was active in the World Junior Championships, faced a remarkably insecure Marco Zanetti, who could not get into the game, scored two 4's, but was put on a 10-point margin by the Japanese with runs of 6 and 7 in the first ten innings (27-17). When the Italian only scored a 1 and a 5 in the last 7 innings, Funaki went 9 and 5 to finish 40-23 in 15 innings.

The games for the next round are today, Friday, from 11.30 in Alabama (18.30 in Western Europe):
11.30: Dick Jaspers-Torbjörn Blomdahl
14.00: Eddy Merckx-Dani Sánchez
17.30: Quyet Chien Tran-Jose Juan Garcia
20.00: Pedro Gonzalez-Kouji Funaki.

Eddy Merckx is facing Dani Sánchez in his next match

Torbjörn Blomdahl, making up for his match against Dick Jaspers

Dick Jaspers showing good form in his first match, now making up for Torbjörn Blomdahl

 

 

 

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