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Defending Champions Van den Berg and Ouschan on their way

Defending Champions Van den Berg and Ouschan on their way

The day started rather stormy. The sea which is normally inviting the people for a nice swim was rough and capricious. Maybe that was a presage for today’s straight pool matches. 95 men and 45 women had taken up the challenge to see who will wear the crown in European straight pool in 2014. Defending Champions were Jasmin Ouschan (AUT) and Nick van den Berg (NED) and they knew that it will not be an easy task to claim the title again this year.

Nick van den Berg (NED) - Foto: EPBF/DK

Nick van den Berg (NED) – Foto: EPBF/DK

Van den Berg had a tough opening match against Daniele Corrieri (ITA). The Italian stood out at recent Euro-Tours by always making it to the final stages of the event. So the match was expected to be a tough fight… and it was! Van den Berg made a mistake at 4:0 and allowed Corrieri to enter the table with a clear shot. The Italian thanked him and made 56 balls. Racing to 100 points, that was more than half the points he needed for the victory. Then, van den Berg ran 28 balls but allowed Corrieri again back to the table with a shot. It looked like Corrieri would run the match but he scratched at 74:32 and allowed van den Berg to the table with ball in hand. That was all the Champion needed to send out a signal. He ran the needed 68 balls without allowing Corrieri back to the table. 100:74 was the final result in favor of van den Berg. Corrieri obviously lost too much energy in this match. He lost the next straight match to unheralded Dino Cerimagic (BIH) with 79:100. Van den Berg got Jürgen Jenisy (AUT) in the single elimination round of the final 64 players. Again, things did not look too bright for him in the beginning of the match. In fact, he was trailing 54:99 when Jenisy made a mistake. That brought van den Berg back into the match and woke his killer instinct. He did not allow his opponent any more clear shot in that match; to the contrary, Jenisy only managed to commit two more fouls while van den Berg was able to decide the match in his favor. 125:97 was the final result that puts van den Berg one round further where he will face Aki Heiskanen (FIN) while Jenisy will have to settle for 33rd place.

Niels Feijen (NED), van den Berg’s teammate, did not have a good start. He played Jakub Koniar (SVK) in the winner’s qualification round and was leading 92:78 when he made a mistake. Koniar kept calm and pocketed ball after ball, sending favored Feijen to the one-loss side.

Even BCA Hall of Famer Ralf Souquet (GER) could not get through this day unwounded. He lost to David Alcaide (ESP) with 1:100 with Alcaide running 101 balls on him.

As the tournament went on, more tight matches came around. Nicolas Ottermann (GER) just managed to win over Murat Teker (TUR) with 100:96 and get to the single elimination stage of the final 64 players.

In the single elimination, Albin Ouschan (AUT) set a new record for the event. The race was raised to 125 points. Ouschan used only one (1!) inning to win over Mindaugas Salkauskas (LIT) with 125:0. That was an exclamation mark set by Ouschan. Aki Heiskanen (FIN) ended Chris Melling’s hopes for a straight pool title, eliminating him with 125:50. Another big name fell in the first single elimination round. Ralf Souquet (GER) got ousted by Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz with125:77. However, Sanchez’ journey ended in the next round when he unexpectedly fell to Christian Sparrenloev-Fischer (SWE) with 95:125.

The results in the men’s division prove the high standard of the event. One mistake is very often enough to decide a whole match.

In the women’s division, tight matches could be found very often. Kynthia Orfanidis (NED) had to give her first round match away to Sara Rocha (POR) with 74:75. The same result was final for Ina Kaplan (GER) in her match with Oliwia Czuprynska (POL). Kaplan was leading 74:68, being at the table with a complicated but possible layout. She needed one more ball to win the match. The cue ball was lying in a cluster but a shot at an object ball in the side pocket was possible. Kaplan missed that shot and left an open table for Czuprynska. The young Polish went to the table and pocketed the remaining balls, sending Kaplan to the loser’s side with 75:74. There, Kaplan was able to recover and eliminated Kynthia Orfanidis (NED) with 75:41 from the straight pool competition.

Defending Champion Jasmin Ouschan (AUT) had no mercy with her opponents. She defeated Martine Christiansen (NOR) with 75:53 and then Kristina Schagan (GER) with 75:7 to book her seat in the single elimination field of the last 16 women. She will be joined there by Kamila Khodjaeva (BEL) who won a tough fight over Marika Poikkijoki (FIN) with 75:64 in the loser’s qualification round. Another big name in the round of the final 16 women is Louise Furberg. She won with 75:66 over Anna Mazhirina (RUS), then 75:45 over Zrinka Antonijevic (CRO) and finally 75:37 over Silvia Gaudino (ITA). Line Kjoersvik (NOR), Nataliya Seroshtan (RUS), Ana Gradisnik (SLO) and Katarzyna Wesolowska (POL) complete the names of the women who made it through the winner’s round. The other eight names will be determined after the 09:00 round on Monday, March 31st.

The action will continue tomorrow morning at 09:00 local time.

The event is 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.epconline.eu or contact our press office press@epbf.com.