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World Cup in Veghel: The Old Lion Blomdahl Still Roars!

Veghel, October 29th, 2022 -FINAL DAY

The two main favorites for the Veghel World Cup shared the bronze. An outsider with great technical skills won the silver. But the day and the week belonged to the 60-year-old from Sweden: Torbjörn Blomdahl, who won his 45th World Cup.

As if winning major 3-cushion events at his age isn’t miraculous enough, the most successful player in World Cup history just finished a months-long struggle with diabetes, forcing him to drastically change his diet. At the table though, he looked fresh and focused.

In a strange semifinal against Dani Sánchez, Blomdahl totally dominated the second half of the match, going from 25-18 behind to a 26-50 win. Not often have we seen the crafty Spaniard so completely lose feeling. It didn’t take anything away from Blomdahl’s performance, highlighted by a run of 16.

The other semifinal was a struggle for both players. World number one Dick Jaspers never found a rhythm, and Choong Bok Lee simply refused to give in. The Korean stylist, a former winner of the LG Cup, has established himself as one of the best players in his country, even with their wealth of talent. He got to the finish line first: 50-47 in 36/35.

Lee again stayed close to his opponent in the final, during the first half. A small lead for Blomdahl, but he could not really get away. The match then was decided by Blomdahl in 3 innings: he turned 31-29 into 49-30 with runs of 7,3 and 8, and it was over. Final score: 50-30 in 21/20.

The 2019 world title in Randers was an exclamation mark on his career, and the 2022 win in Veghel is another one. How many more years can we watch this legend in action?

The Veghel event was streamed by Five & Six on their YouTube channel and broadcast in the Netherlands by Ziggo Sport. A long reserve list during the inscription and a venue cleanly sold out make clear that it was a resounding success.

All detailed match and tournament results are available on the UMB website. Tournament average: 1.576. High match average: 4.000 (Lütfi Cenet). High tournament average: 2.084 (Dani Sánchez). High run: 16 (Blomdahl, Sörensen, Polychronopoulos, Horn).


Veghel, October 28th, 2022

On the penultimate day of the Veghel World Cup, one match rose above all others. It was the confrontation between Semih Sayginer and Torbjörn Blomdahl in the quarterfinals that set the venue on fire. The averages were not record-breaking, but the problem-solving shots that the two seasoned stars came up with were SO good, it turned the match into an instant classic.
In the round of 16, Sayginer had survived a scare against Heo (50-49), Blomdahl had narrowly beaten Sörensen (50-45) and Sánchez had a lot of resistance from Cha (50-44). The wins by Jaspers, Kim, and Lee had been fairly comfortable. Merckx had a 50-39 margin against Legazpi, Coklu beat Cenet 50-41.

A quick look at the quarterfinals:
One-way traffic between Sánchez and Coklu: the world nr. 2 averaged almost 3 and cruised to a 50-21 win in 17/16 innings. The Spaniard has a terrific season, he won in Seoul and has another shot in Veghel.
A close finish between two Koreans, C.B. Lee and H.J. Kim. The older of the two had the slightly better sprint to the line: 50-47 in 37.
Dick Jaspers totally dominated his match against Merckx, who simply never got going. The Dutchman built up a 24-1 lead and safely cruised in the second half: 50-23 in 23/22.
Match of the day, and match of the week: Sayginer – Blomdahl. The Turk ran away with an early run of 13, but the Swede clawed his way back into the contest. One brilliant, creative solution after another, both players brought the crowd to their feet. Blomdahl ran a 9 just at the right time: 50-40 in 24/23.
Tomorrow’s semifinals:
C.B. Lee – Jaspers
Sánchez – Blomdahl.


Veghel, October 27th, 2022.

The long and hard Thursday in the Veghel World Cup meant goodbye for half the field: 16 players advanced, 16 were eliminated. The level of play was very high: no fewer than six contenders averaged over 2.000 for their three matches. Big names like Zanetti, Horn, Tran, Choi, Tasdemir, and Bury were sent home.

Let’s take a quick look at the eight groups:

A)  Dick Jaspers lost his opening match to a strong C.B. Lee, but he repaired the damage and advanced together with the Korean.

B)  Two Spaniards finished 1 and 2: Sánchez and Legazpi got the better of Nilsson and a disappointing de Bruijn.

C)   Wildcard Jorissen did well to survive this tough flight, beating Zanetti and M.W. Cho. J.H. Heo wins the group and advances as well.

D)  Another seed went out in group D: Q.C. Tran. Coklu and Cha both win twice and proceed to the K.O.

E)   Excellent play by H.J. Kim (2.181) and Sidhom (2.034) who advance. Polychronopoulos does well with 1.846 but it’s not enough.

F)   Three players with two wins: D.A.C. Nguyen, Sörensen, and Bury. The Frenchman loses out because of the lowest average.

G)  Two more players over 2.000 average: Merckx and Cenet. Surprisingly, Tasdemir loses three times.

H)  Two of the biggest names in billiards, Blomdahl and Sayginer qualify. Garcia and S.W. Choi come up short.

Today’s high run was 16, made by three players: Polychronopoulos, Sörensen, and Horn.

On Friday, matches will be single elimination to 50 points, with no equalizing inning. It starts at 12.00 local time. Here is the draw:

Sánchez – Cha

Coklu – Cenet

Heo – Sayginer

Blomdahl – Sörensen

H.J. Kim – Jorissen

C.B. Lee – Sidhom

D.A.C. Nguyen – Jaspers

Merckx – Legazpi

As usual, the play can be watched live on the Five & Six channel on YouTube, and in the Netherlands on Ziggo Sports TV.


Veghel, October 26th, 2022.

Day four of the UMB World Cup in Veghel was the decider: who is in, who is out. Twelve group winners and three best numbers two joined the 14 seeds and 3 wildcards, to form the 32-player main draw.

A)  A surprising group winner: Radek Novak (CZE). He is in the form of his life, as his average of 1.739 shows. He beats both Ja In Kang and Jun Tae Kim.

B)  The 2019 World championship runner-up Duc Anh Chien Nguyen qualifies with 1.632.

C)   2014 world champion Sung Won Choi gets the ticket: 1.454. Karaca was not far behind though.

D)  Nikos Polychronopoulos dominates his group with 1.702 and he advances. Costa and Kahofer come up short.

E)   One win, one loss for all three players. Jacob Haack-Sörensen wins on average: 1.948. Myung Woo Cho saves his tournament against van Beers.

F)   One win, one less here also. Dave Christiani is the best with 1.857. Legazpi gets in through the back door, van Erp has 1.764 but stays empty-handed.

G)  Lütfi Cenet is by far the best in group G: 1.568. The Germans Lindemann and Stamm are disappointing under 1 average.

H)  Myeong Jong Cha wins twice and averages 1.739. Choong Bok Lee qualifies as the best second.

I)     Very convincing performance by Michael Nilsson: 2.000. He makes 40 in 18 and 40 in 22.

J)    Tomas Anderson loses a match, but his 40 in 12 saves him: 2.258. Peter Ceulemans uses two innings too many to qualify as the best second.

K)   Jose Juan Garcia has not made the long trip for nothing: 1.250 and in the main event.

L)   Chang Hoon Seo fights a Belgian and a Turk: 1.595. Karakurt’s and Forthomme’s wins are not enough to qualify.

The three best numbers two that also advance are Ruben Legazpi, Myung Woo Cho, and Choong Bok Lee.

For detailed results and the groups for tomorrow, we refer to http://umb.cuesco.net/competition/schedule?idx=140&round=Qual.#content

The main event will start at 10.00 local time and can be viewed on the Five & Six channel on YouTube. Ziggo Sport in the Netherlands will broadcast live from 10.00.


Veghel October 25th, Day 3.

The third day of the Veghel World Cup was a mix of those two elements that are essential to 3-cushion: joy and pain. Some players qualified by the tiniest of margins, and others performed really well but came up short.

The best group winners on this Tuesday were Thomas Andersen (Denmark), Huub Wilkowski (Netherlands), and Berkay Karakurt (Turkiye). They had identical results: two wins, 60 points in 33 innings for a 1.818 average. Quite a few World Cups in history have been won with averages lower than that!

It’s not just the winner’s level that is on the rise. Second-place finishers such as Gwendal Maréchal (1.700), Maxime Panaia (1.594) and Dave Christiani (1.647) played really well but just failed to put two wins on the board.

Here are the group winners who advance to tomorrow’s final Q-round:

Andersen – 1.818

B)  Wilkowski – 1.818

C)   Costa – 1.428

D)  Kokkoris – 1.621

E)   Kahofer – 1.071

F)   Swertz – 1.395

G)  J.I. Kang – 1.363

H)  Van Erp – 1.463

I)     Stamm – 1.463

J)    Soares – 1.666

K)   D.H. Kim – 1.111

L)   Mas – 1.304

M)  Karaca – 1.395

N)  Karakurt – 1.818

O)  Novak – 1.333

P)   Van Beers – 1.428

Lukas Stamm made the tournament high run so far: 14. Getting into the main draw is still far from easy for today’s winners: they will be drawn into new groups of three, with world-class competitors such as Haack-Sörensen, Ceulemans, Polychronopoulos, Jun Tae Kim, Forthomme, Legazpi and Myung Woo Cho, to name just a few.

The Five & Six channel on YouTube will once again stream all the tables, and Ziggo Sport in the Netherlands will broadcast the remainder of the event for four days.


Veghel, October 24th, 2022

On the second day of the UMB World Cup in Veghel, the Netherlands, the level went up a notch. Once again, the players had the task to end first in their group of three to advance to the next round. This format can sometimes create surprising twists and turns, especially when all three players win a match and lose one.

There were a few dominant performances by players from the host nation (Christiani, van Etten), and two Scandinavians looked to be out of it but they both made a comeback to qualify (Andersen, Pennör). Veteran and former world champion Jef Philipoom (Belgium) had no problem winning his group, and neither did up-and-coming talents Tolgahan Kiraz (Turkiye) and Maxime Panaia (France).

V. Bao Phuong from Vietnam posted an excellent average (1.538) and so did Huub Wilkowski (1.685). Christiani was the best of the day, with 2.142.

Here is the complete list of group winners:

A)   Kiraz – 1.363

B)   De Vries – 0.937

C)    Panaia – 1.395

D)   Van Erp – 1.276

E)    Van Etten – 1.428

F)    Philipoom – 1.463

G)   Andersen – 0.842

H)   Dürdü – 1.224

I)      Brants – 1.016

J)     D.R. Kim – 1.395

K)    Wilkowski – 1.685

L)    V. Bao Phuong – 1.538

M)  Melnytschenko – 1.463

N)  Pennör – 0.923

O)  Christiani – 2.142

P)   Swertz – 1.176

Matches in the PQ stage will start on Tuesday at 10.00 local time! Today’s qualifiers will get in the ring against strong opponents, like Maréchal, Kokkoris, Morales, Karakurt, Jeong, and Mas.


Veghel, October 23rd, 2022

World Cup Veghel – Day One. 

It is never easy to play 3-cushion on the opening day of a World Cup. The cloth is new, the rails are unpredictable at times and the nerves are jangling. Strange things can happen in these short matches to 30 points, but usually, the stronger players still survive.

In the wonderful location at the Noordkade in Veghel (a former industrial building full of character), matches in the pppq of this year’s fifth World Cup started on Sunday at 11.00. Here are the group winners, certain of their place in the next round:

A)  Gungordu 1.176

B)  Van Wijk 0.983

C)   De Vries 0.731

D)  Jonen 0.952

E)   Puigvert 0.869

F)   Dürdü 0.952

G)  De Zwart 1.090

H)  Duriez 0.652

I)     Gökmen 1.363

J)    Witt 0.882

K)   Roestel 1.034

L)   Panaia 0.810

M) Soumagne 1.016

N)  Melnytschenko 1.034

O)  Vh Zelfden 0.937

P)   Blondeel 1.034


Due to cancellations, the two best numbers 2 will also be placed in the ppq schedule: Marcel Back and Vangelis Moulos.

For those who are interested in following the matches in the ppq: go to the Five & Six channel on YouTube for full coverage. More detailed results of all the matches can be found on the UMB pages under “Active Events”.

Lausanne , October 19th

Following tournaments in Ankara, Las Vegas, Ho Chi Minh City, and Seoul, the Netherlands will host the fifth World Cup in the 2022 cycle. The closing event will take place in December, in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.

Since 1986, no fewer than 26 World Cups have been played in the Netherlands. Valkenburg, Oosterhout, and Sluiskil will still be in many people’s memories. Unsurprisingly, Blomdahl and Jaspers were multi-winners in these events, but the Netherlands has also seen several one-time victories: Laurent Boulanger, Christoph Pilss, Rini van Bracht.

This third edition of the Veghel World Cup will start on Sunday the 23d of October and finish on the 29th. As usual, the best 14 players on the ranking are seeded: Jaspers, Sánchez, Zanetti, Tran, Sidhom, Horn, Tasdemir, Blomdahl, Sayginer, Merckx, Bury, H.J. Kim, Coklu and J.H. Heo. The two local wildcards were awarded to Jeffrey Jorissen and Jean Paul de Bruijn. The UMB/AMECC wildcard went to Mashhour Abu Tayeh from Jordan.

Naturally, the qualification days will see many European players at the tables, but quite a few of the dangerous Colombians, Vietnamese, and Koreans have also decided to make the trip. Turkey, let’s not forget, always has a strong presence.

In the battle for the overall World Cup win of the season, it will be hard to catch Dick Jaspers, who has won two events already and is on 232 points. Dani Sánchez follows on 150, Zanetti is third on 134 and Merckx is fourth on 132.

The tables in Veghel are Eureka Triangle, the cloth is ClassOne TP-5 Blue, and the balls are Dynaspheres. Ranking points are 80-54-36-26-18-10-8. Prize money is 16K-10K-6K-3.5K-2.5K-1.5K-500 Euro.

Five & Six will be there to stream the tournament on their YouTube channel, and Dutch TV (Ziggo) will have a live broadcast on the last four days of the event.