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10-ball competition brings up several upsets at the European Championships

Stephan Cohen

The first day of the Dynamic Billard European Championships for Men, Women and Wheelchair athletes brought several surprises in all divisions. 102 men, 40 women and 14 participants in the wheelchair division have entered the discipline in order to see who will take the titles in the end.

In the winner’s qualification round of the men’s division 10-ball, Stephan Cohen (FRA) defeated Nick van den Berg (NED) surprisingly clear with 8:3. There is a story behind both of the two opponents. Cohen just today received his luggage after being here already for three days. He had to borrow cue stick and equipment and went through the straight pool with stuff from his fellow players. Probably he was very happy today to play in his own clothes with his own cue stick and equipment. On the other side, Nick van den Berg needs a good finish during these European Championships. Just like Niels Feijen who achieved his A-status yesterday by winning the title in straight pool, Nick van den Berg has the chance to get funding through his national olympic committee if he gets among the top eight players in a discipline. So the mindset of the two contestants were quite opposite before the match. Maybe that was the advantage that Cohen had over van den Berg. The Dutch never got into gear and had to watch Cohen snatching rack after rack from him. After six racks, the score was all square at 3:3. But then Cohen overtook on the left side and left van den Berg no other choice but watching him run away. In the end, 8:3 was the justified result for Cohen. The French advanced to the round of the last 64 players single elimination. Other remarkable results in the men’s division include Saki Kanatlar (TUR) pipping Denis Grabe (EST) to the post 8:7. In his loser’s qualification round match, Grabe wasted no time with Reda Belhaj (FRA), smashing him 8:1 out of the 10-ball and grabbing his seat among the final 64 tomorrow. Ivar Saris (NED) came up with the next upset, defeating Konstantin Stepanov (RUS) 8:6. Finally, Evgenii Buslaev (RUS) overpowered Mario He (AUT) 8:6.

One huge upset occurred in the women’s division today. Defending Champion Jasmin Ouschan (AUT) is already out of the 10-ball competition after having played only two matches. In her first match, she fell to the sharp blade of Ana Gradisnik (SLO) 5:6. She had to go to the loser’s side where she unfortunately met Kristina Tkach (RUS). Tkach, newly crowned straight pool Champion, lost to Tina Vogelmann (GER) earlier today and was also on the loser’s side, as unexpected as Ouschan. In their encounter, Tkach played rock solid and did not leave many chances for Ouschan. She proved to have nerves of steel and ousted Ouschan 6:2 from the 10-ball competition. Another remarkable result in the women’s division includes Claudia von Rohr (SUI) beating Amalia Matas (ESP) 6:3. Matas missed too many balls in deciding situations and von Rohr was cool enough to benefit from it so the result is perfectly in order with the way the match went.

In the wheelchair division, two long-time rivals met in the first round. Kurt Deklerck (BEL) took on Henrik Larsson (SWE) in winner’s round one and snatched the victory by a whisker with 5:4.

Tomorrow, the tournament will continue at 09:00 GMT with matches from the 10-ball individuals competition.

Every day, one match from the events will be shown LIVE on the Facebook page of the EPBF. All Facebook users may check out the high standard of quality which is provided for all the events and see what the Kozoom members receive all the time. You can see all the matches live via www.kozoom.com who stream the whole event on 24 tables on the internet LIVE. The FB live matches are announced on the EPBF Facebook page around noon every day. Results and schedule can be found at www.eurotouronline.com so why not come and check out all the LIVE action of the Dynamic Billard European Championships for Men, Women and Wheelchair Athletes starting Saturday 18th March at 09:00h GMT.

The event will be hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website www.eurotouronline.com, visit us on Facebook or check out our youtube channel for regular news clips or contact our press office press@epbf.com.