Eight Men Remain on Quest for World Title in Fujairah
With two rounds of play completed on Wednesday in the Damas World 8-Ball Championship the original field of 63 men and 1 woman has been reduced to only eight. Wednesday was filled with surprises and drama as many matches went down to the final rack.
The crowds here had picked a favorite long before the day began. Jasmin Ouschan, the lone female in the field, had won the affection and respect of the fans with the power of her cue and her easy smile. Her match with Marcus Weston of Germany was followed by every eye in the room and Weston could feel the pressure of the crowd as they urged on his opponent. It appeared that Ouschan would fulfill the wishes of her fans as she led the match by a two-game margin for most of the contest. Indeed, she got to the hill first and stood at 9-7 in the race to ten. But then her break deserted her. Weston capitalized on this turn of events and won three racks running to claim the day and progress.
Many great players were ushered to the exits Wednesday. Former Champion Chia-Ching Wu (TPE) fell to international newcomer Alan Cuartero (PHI) in the first round of the day. Konsatntin Stepanov (RUS) could not find his rhythm and was dropped by Kasper Kristoffersen (DEN). Roberto Gomez (PHI) was eliminated by his countryman and former Champion Ronnie Alcano and Oliver Ortmann (GER) was sentenced to the stands by Hung-Hsiang Wang (TPE).
The second round was even more brutal. Shane Van Boening (USA) had won his first match handily by defeating Haitao Liu of China 10-3. But it appeared he totally lost his focus in the next match and he never showed any of his game as he lost 10-7 to Bruno Muratore of Italy. Current World 9-Ball champion Daryl Peach (GBR) lost out in this round to Ronnie Alcano and Niels Feijen (NED) lost a heartbreaker on the hill to Ralf Souquet when his break came up dry in the last rack and left a wide-open spread for Souquet to sweep.
Thursday will find Dimitri Jungo (SUI) facing Marcus Chamat (SWE), Ralf Souquet (GER) against Chris Melling (GBR), Bruno Muratore (ITA) against Ronnie Alcano (PHI) and Warren Kiamco (PHI) against Dennis Orcullo (PHI). Complete scores from all rounds as well as live updates may be found at www.wpa-tour.com (http://www.wpa-tour.com).