The newly crowned Dynamic Billard European Champions in 10-ball are Alexander Kazakis (GRE), Kamila Khodjaeva (BEL) and Jouni Tahti (FIN).
The story of the final match is quickly told. It was a close combat between Francisco Diaz (ESP) and Kazakis. They were taking racks in turn. At 6:5 to Kazakis, Diaz played a bad safety shot and left a possible shot for Kazakis. The Greek went for it, made it and went on the hill 7:5. There again, a safety battle occurred. Diaz played an unforced error on the 3-ball and gave ball in hand to Kazakis. That was enough for Kazakis to win his first title with 8:5 at European Championship level.
In the earlier rounds today, defending Champion David Alcaide (ESP) had hard work to do. In the round of the last 64 players, he just sneaked past Germany’s Sebastian Ludwig with an 8:7 victory. Then, fate got him. He played Alexander Kazakis (GRE) in the next round and the match went hill-hill again. This time, lady luck was not on his side anymore. When he broke the decisive 15th rack at a score of 7:7, he scratched and left an open table for Kazakis. That was the end of Alcaide’s dreams to defend his title in 10-ball from last year. Kazakis ran out and won 8:7. HIs journey into the final match brought Kazakis up against Andreas Gerwen (SWE) 8:5, Andreas Madsen (DEN) 8:3 and Nick van den Berg (NED) 8:6 in the semi final match.
Francisco Diaz also had a hill-hill thriller in the round of the last 64 players. He defeated his teammate Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (ESP) by a whisker with 8:7. Then, he marched on over Ronnie Oldervik (NOR) 8:4, Kasper Kristoffersen (DEN) 8:4, Aki Heiskanen (FIN) 8:6 and Fabio Petroni (ITA) in the semi final with 8:3.
The women’s final was an exact replay of the straight pool final, but with another outcome. This time, Khodjaeva was able to win over Jasmin Ouschan (AUT). She even managed to win the decisive rack at 5:4 in her favor with forcing Ouschan to play three consecutive fouls. This brought Khodjaeva the 6:4 victory for the Championship.
Kamila Khodjaeva’s way into the final match of the women’s 10-ball was a bit amazing. First, she defeated Jasmin Ouschan in the first round with 6:5, but she lost the winner’s qualification round to Kynthia Orfanidou (NED) 4:6. Being drawn against Severine Titaux (FRA) in the round of the final 16 players, she won 6:1. The next round, she met Orfanidou again. This time, Khodjaeva remained victorious with the closest of all results, 6:5. In the semi-final match, Khodjaeva ousted Marika Poikkijoki (FIN) who had defeated the defending Champion Katarzyna Wesolowska (POL) the round before, with 6:3. That booked her a seat in the final match.
Jasmin Ouschan took the detour through the loser’s round since she lost her opening match to Kamila Khodjaeva. In the single elimination round of the final 16 players, Ouschan won 6:4 over Ana Mazhirina (RUS). Then, she defeated Louise Furberg (SWE) clearly with 6:1. In the semi-final match, Ouschan prevented the final in women’s 10-ball becoming a „family affair“ by winning 6:1 over Diana Khodjaeva (BEL), Kamila’s younger sister.
The wheelchair final looked long time as if Kurt Deklerck (BEL) would be a sure winner. 4:2 and even 5:3 were the intermediate results in favor of Deklerck. But Tahti never gives up and managed to pull rack after rack from Deklerck, winning the match with 6:5 in the end.
Jouni Tahti had no bigger problems with Roy Kimberley in the first semi final of the wheelchair division. He booked his seat in the final match with a 6:4 victory over the Brit.
Kurt Deklerck had already lost to Tahti in the winner’s qualification round. On the loser’s side, he ousted Tony Southern (GBR) clearly with 5:2. Then, he met Fred Dinsmore, the defending Champion, in the semi-final match. The match went hill-hill with the better end for Deklerck.
The tournament will continue tomorrow at 09:00 local time with men’s 8-ball matches.
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More information about participants, schedules, achievements, rankings, etc can be found on the event website www.epconline.eu.
The event will be hosted by the European Pocket Billiard Federation EPBF and organized by International Billiard Promotion Foundation IBPF.