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Top four for final day: Jaspers, Cho, Kim and Cenet

Posted by on July 6, 2019

Top four for final day: Jaspers, Cho, Kim and Cenet

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HaengJik Kim, ready for a glorious final day in a World Cup?

PORTO - Dutchman Dick Jaspers' reputation and high class stay proudly upright in these turbulent days of three cushion. The first of all world top players who pledged himself to where he feels at home (the UMB) is still by far the number one and best in the world after this World Cup in Porto. The Dutchman will face Lütfi Cenet (10:00 am Portuguese time) on Sunday in the semi-finals, the other match is between HaengJik Kim and Myung-Woo Cho (12:00). The very best, young star of the new generation also was not tempted by any offers from his country.  The wonder boy Myung-Woo Cho (21) continues his track in the World Cups to show himself as the champion of the future.

Dani Sánchez, Dick Jaspers and Myung-Woo Cho were the three players who gave the FC Porto arena the most shine in the run-up to the final day. The Spaniard, child at home in the blue stronghold, was the most brilliant with his short matches and high averages, but ran into Jaspers sword late on Saturday afternoon. The Dutchman showed two faces this day: vulnerable against Eddy Leppens, but still victorious, with the flair and power of the world champion against Dani Sánchez.

The first, starting innings in that match were a warm-up by Sánchez and Jaspers, in the fifth, Jaspers started an attack at 2-3 which only stopped after 18 caroms: 2-21!!! It was the early knock-out, as the Dutchman finally won the clash 40-24 in 15 innings. Sánchez, overpowered and overwhelmed by his leading player at FC Porto, came back with small runs, 6, 4 and 3, but it was by far not enough to threaten Jaspers to the finish.

Once again it was so amazing to see how Myung-Woo Cho showed his no-fear-for-no-one mentallity with his wonderful technical strength, his talent for magic shots to spoil the Portuguese crowd. Two Danes were the victims. First it was Jacob Haack Sörensen and in the last day's round it was Dion Nelin. And two Koreans closed the day with two demonstration matches: Myung-Woo Cho ran away from Nelin halfway to 27-3, HaengJik Kim was on the other table against Trung Hau Do Nguyen 23-6 ahead after 6 innings. That all resulted in victories for Cho with 40-18 in 14 innings and for Kim with 40-22 in 15.

Did we see, in the second quarter final session, somewhat of HaengJik Kim's former glory? The Korean, who knocked down Eddie Merckx earlier on the day, put an end to Trung Hau Do Nguyen's illusions after Trung's performances that started the preliminaries. The 39-year-old Vietnamese from Ho Chi Minh, not completely unknown, was in the top 5 of his country last year, this year he has dropped out of the top 16. But in this World Cup he was the best of all the stars from his country.

That was the same for Lütfi Cenet, the last of the Turks, with his run-up to the podium. The ups-and-downs star, with his 30th place on the world ranking far away from his illustrious compatriots Semih Sayginer, Tayfun Tasdemir and Murat Naci Coklu, surpassed them all in Porto. Cenet had the better final sprint against Jung-Han Heo and then outplayed, in a much better match, Marco Zanetti 40-30 in 21 after dominating the entire match. The Turk is unpredictable on his best days, a champion killer. Lütfi Cenet will certainly be a feared opponent for Jaspers in the semi-finals.

The last of three Belgians in Saturday's first sessions, who is a champion in playing finals, missed the shot he has made thousands times in his life. Eddy Merckx lost his match against HaengJik Kim 40-39. The killer himself was knocked out and could hardly believe it himself. First he missed a match ball and then also the breakshot, after he asked to brush the balls during a short pause. The Korean, after all, stepped out of the arena with a lucky smile after his victory (40-39 in 22).

The balance of eight matches in the last sixteen? Dani Sánchez was the best winner in 14 innings against Birol Uymaz (40-13, 2.857 for the Spaniard), Dion Nelin rushed along Jef Philipoom (40-28 in 16) and Trung Hau Do Nguyen, the "dark horse" in this tournament, stoically moved up to the top eight on the world stage after his victory over Tayfun Tasdemir.

Dick Jaspers survived one of his rarely weak matches in a big tournament, because Eddy Leppens forgot to give the knock-out to the Dutch man. The Belgian should have finish it off after a run of seven in the 15th inning and some rare misses by Jaspers. Leppens still offered the world champion the opportunity to fight back. Jaspers finally left him behind at 40-37 in 31.

Lütfi Cenet was running into an excellent Jung-Han Heo, but started his come-back when the Korean failed after 27-12 and 34-21. In his last fifteen innings, Heo first missed six times in a row, followed by two and four times. Cenet, the last of three Turks in the tournament, took the win in his last inning with 7 (40-37). Heo scored one more time from the spots: 40-38 in 31.

Marco Zanetti beat another Korean: Jae-Ho Cho, not in his best form, 40-28 in 23. HaengJik Kim, Trung Hau Do Nguyen and Myung-Woo Cho share among the eight as three Asians left in the field. The Vietnamese certainly played the most wonderful tournament of his career.

Dick Jaspers in his match with Eddy Leppens, followed by a brilliant 18-run and victory against Dani Sánchez

Dani Sánchez, outplayed by Dick Jaspers after an outstanding World Cup start

Lütfi Cenet on his best again: the number 30 ranked outsider, but best of all Turkish star players

Marco Zanetti, farewell to Porto's World Cup cheered by his 11-year son Samuel

Dion Nelin, back in town in the World Cups, outplayed by the wonderboy Myung Woo Cho

HaengJik Kim is among the four final players

Trung Hau Do Nguyen: what an amazing experience for the Vietnamese

Myung Woo Cho, who can stop him to win his first World Cup?


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