March 4, 2023
Tayfun Tasdemir Wins His Third World Cup
Las Vegas, March 4th, 2023
He is the reigning world champion, and he appears to be gaining in strength year by year. In Las Vegas, Nevada, Tayfun Tasdemir claimed his third World Cup, beating Haeng Jik Kim in the final: 50-39 in 34.
Two Koreans were still in the hunt on the final day, and two Europeans. Marco Zanetti had looked so strong with his majestic closing run of 16 against Eddy Merckx, but he struggled in his semi-finals against Tasdemir. “I’ve had trouble performing well in semifinals all my career”, said the Italian. Tasdemir opened up a 20-point gap and a mini-comeback by Zanetti was too little, too late: 50-27 in 27/26.
The battle between the “Kims” was a bit closer: 50-37 in 29. Jun Tae Kim is a major promise, but Haeng Jik Kim has the experience, the nerves, and the flair. He never looked like he was going to lose this one.
The final was a bit of a grind. Many difficult positions, and some clever defending going on from both sides. Especially Haeng Jik was presented with a handful of starters that were virtually unmakeable. It went neck and neck until 34-33, then Tasdemir created a ten-point lead and held on to it.
The final point was a fluke. Tasdemir, always a gentleman, respectfully apologized before he even celebrated. Haeng Jik’s body language said: “You won fair and square”.
The best match of the event was played by Quyet Chien Tran: 40 in 10. The high run was made by Ruben Legazpi: 20. The best general average was played by Nikos Polychronopoulos: 2.169.
Dick Jaspers will comfortably hold on to his number 1 position in the ranking. The next World Cup will take place in Ho Chi Minh City, from 22-28 May.