Ouschan New 10-Ball World Champ
Yalin Women’s World 10-Ball Championship / Manila, Philippines
Jasmin Ouschan was crowned the new Yalin Women’s World 10-ball champion at the second installment of the prestigious event, thwarting Ga Young Kim in the finals 10-6. The young Austrian is no newcomer to winning billiard titles, but this event held a distinctive meaning for her.
“I still can’t believe it—I came close to winning it before and now I finally won,” she cried afterward with tears in her eyes. “But to win it here in the billiards’ capital of the world before my best fans, this is really special.”
The event was hosted by Robinson’s Galleria in Manila, Philippines, and attracted ladies in the upper echelon in women’s billiards. As a top seed, Ouschan awaited the outcome of the match between Miyuki Fuke and Keiko Yukawa. Once Fuke sent Yukawa packing 8-4, Ouschan took over, besting the Japanese player 8-5.
From there Ouschan couldn’t be stopped, going on to face Karen Corr in the next round. Ireland’s Corr, ranked fourth on the WPBA, fell 8-2 to Ouschan, who then matched up against England’s Kelly Fisher in the semifinals. The heavy-hitting Fisher had just notched two easy victories over Germany’s Ina Jentschura and China’s Li Jia, both 8-3.
It was likely the most challenging match of the event for Ouschan, who managed to eke out a 9-7 victory over the former-number-one WPBA player. In the finals Ouschan went up against Kim, the current points leader on the WPBA.
Kim started her trek to the finals with an all-Korean battle against Yu Ram Cha, whom she eliminated 8-3. She then went on to face Eunji Park and entered a resounding 8-2 victory to advance to the semifinals. Her opponent was defending champion hometown favorite Rubilen Amit. Unfazed by the sentiments of the crowd, Kim knocked Amit out 9-5 and moved on to play Ouschan.
Kim leapt to a daunting 4-0 lead over Ouschan in the race-to-10 final match and looked unstoppable. But at that point she faltered, losing focus and allowing Ouschan back into the set. The young Austrian took full advantage of Kim’s situation and only allowed Kim two more racks before sweeping across the finish line 10-6.
This year was the first that women were allowed to participate in the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships, and Ouschan’s absence was remarked on by many in attendance. However, her trainer, Michael Neumann, explained, “We’ve decided to pass up on the U.S. Open and rest her for a week so that she can focus on the world championship. I’m glad we did because she’s now champion.”
In addition to the title of world 10-ball champion, Ouschan also collected a cool $20,000 for first place.
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photo courtesy of Emille “BiBoy” Soriano