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Winner Eddy Merckx: 115 times break shot, 1 miss

Posted by on November 13, 2020

Winner Eddy Merckx: 115 times break shot, 1 miss

© Kozoom/Dirk Acx
The two Belgians on top, Eddy Merckx and Roland Forthomme, with Murat Naci Coklu (3rd) and Antonio Montes (4th)

The final sprint between two Belgians top guns in the OneCarom Challenge final was won by Eddy Merckx with an only one carom difference. Roland Forthomme was the wonderful number two in the final score after an exciting fight in the final part. The two leaders in the ranking went into the last inning with a 60-58 score. Merckx started from the break with three and came up to 63, Forthomme needed 5 points for a shared win, but missed the equalizer: 63-62. Murat Naci Coklu finished second with 49 points, Antonio Montes fourth with 44 points.

It was the second victory in a Challenge for Merckx this year, who beat Semih Sayginer on July 12 in another format, 50-41 in 12 innings. In that Challenge, Merckx scored 249 points in 65 innings, good for 3,830 on average. For his second victory, Merckx scored 162 times in 50 innings, averaging 3,240.

Most notably, the Belgian winner was allowed to aim 115 times for the break shot in these two tournaments and only missed one time! Merckx can still remember that one miss: ''I played against Tasdemir, who just had scored a run of 11 and I knew he was getting very close in the score. My break shot was important, but I missed because I played too thick on the ball. That was towards the end of the match, but luckily I still won 50-49.''

This week's final Challenge ended in a thrilling fight with two Belgians in the lead. Roland Forthomme's come-back, who started the second round of 10 innings with a 36-24 in Merckx' favour, was impressive. Thanks to two runs of 9 and a slightly less scoring Merckx, the match flourished in the final part. Merckx still led 54-40 half way (five innings), but scored only 9 times in the second part against Forthomme 22 times (5-9-3-1-4). With his last shot in a risky position (short-long-short over right), he could have levelled. ''I actually expected him to play this ball short-long-short over left, but Roland must have looked carefully for himself," Merckx commented later.

The winner of the Belgian clash admitted that the tension played a role in that final innings. ''We can't play matches now because of the crisis and if we get this chance, we definitely want to win,'', he admitted. ''In this format, it is all about getting into the good flow.'' For the two Belgians, a long stop will follow again now after the Challenge. Merckx: ''I gues, and I hope, that the Jumbo Challenge in the Netherlands in January will be the first in which we can show up again. That is two months from now, but even that is still uncertain.''

Roland Forthomme was disappointed, but also happy with his second place: ''I have shown that I still can fight, both in the pre-rounds and in the final'', was his reaction. And about the showdown in the last part: ''When we had played the last inning, I looked at the score for the first time. I didn't know that my last point was for the draw, but anyway, I wouldn't have played it another way if I had known that. It was not an easy position. I took a good look and felt that I took the best solution.''

For the coming weeks and months, Forthomme concludes, just like Merckx: ''We hope for Harry's tournament, the Jumbo Challenge, that will be a great happening.'' And most of all: ''We are very careful, Karina and I, we hardly leave our house. I miss you all very much.''

The two other rivals in this Challenge final, Murat Naci Coklu and Antonio Montes, missed the chances to involve in the fight for the top positions on the final day. The Spaniard scored twice a six in his last five innings, but remained in last position. Coklu, who achieved 24 and 25 points in his two matches for the final, came up third on the podium.

The main prize, 1000 euros, goes to Eddy Merckx, Roland Forthomme earns 500 euros with his second place, the Korean Jun Tae Kim won the 500 euros for the best run of 11. All players received 1000 euros to start.

The final ranking (average over the final matchess):
1 Eddy Merckx 63 points (3,150)
2 Roland Forthomme 62 (3,100)
3 Murat Naci Coklu 49 (2,450)
4 Antonio Montes 44 (2,200).

Eddy Merckx, the winner after a thrilling finish


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My Comments

I wouldn't expect
I wouldn't expect a player of his caliber, or even a little less to miss the opening shot on their, 'Home' table! about this statistic, who and what was the 2nd place player's percentage on the break shot?

Message 1/1 - Publish at November 13, 2020 6:14 PM

Human being...
We are not a robot...

Publish at November 15, 2020 11:53 AM

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