16 Players Remain in World 8-Ball
Some days you have good days and some days you have bad days. On Thursday Raj Hundal of India had both at the World Pool Billiards Association (WPA) World 8-Ball Championship. He began great, destroying Konstantin Stepanov of Russia 9-0 in a perfect match where he broke and ran the set. Stepanov never had a single chance at the table as Hundal won 9-0 to progress. But then the tables turned on him and Joven Alba of the Philippines eliminated him from the tournament 9-7.
This was a day of joy and heartbreak for many. In this single-elimination stage any loss means the end of the road. US Open 9-Ball Champion Darren Appleton survived the day by overcoming Huidje See 9-3. Others in his section of the chart to make it into Friday included Bashar Hussain and Ronnie Alcano. Alcano had to defeat Oliver Ortmann 9-6 while Hussain ended the run of Salah Al Remway 9-5. The next section found legendary player Ralf Souquet escaping Joven Bustamante 9-7only to then fall victim to Nick Van Den Berg 9-1. Omaral Shaheene won over Rudolfo Luat 9-5 and then gave similar treatment to Manuel Gama 9-4 to keep his hopes alive.
Niels Feijen is having a good week. He is still in it via his wins over Do Hoang Quan 9-7 and Rodney Morris 9-2. And Oliver Medinilla also continues his quest as he rolled over Vilmos Foldes 9-5. Chang Jun Lin is still here. He defeated Roberto Gomez 9-6 while David Alcaide put down both Naoyuki Oi (9-3)and Lee Van Corteza (9-3). Thomas Engert had to get past two very tough players. First he beat Raymund Faron 9-8 and then Earl Strickland 9-7. Mika Immonen also reached his goals of the day by getting past Bruno Muratore 9-4 and then putting our defending champion Karl Boyes out of the event 9-1.
One very strong player making his entrance onto the world stage is Carlo Dalmatin. He beat Yukio Akakariyama 9-7 and then destroyed one of the tournament favorites, Antonio Lining, 9-4. Another former unknown making his debut here is Takhti Zarekari. His strength overcame Thorsten Hohmann 9-8 and then Alok Kumar 9-6. Shane Van Boening is also still in the competition as he got past Nguyen Phuc Long 9-7 and Jalal Yousef 9-2. Our final player left is Dennis Orcullo. He ruined things for Stephan Cohen 9-0 and then barely got past Vincent Facquet 9-8.
At 1 PM on Friday we will watch as Orcullo takes on Shane Van Boening, Zarekari faces Carlo Dalmatin, Chang Jun Lin will go up against David Alcaide and Thomas Engert meets Mika Immonen. The other half of the field will find Nick Van Den Berg against Omaral Shaheeme, Niels Feijen against Oliver Mendinilla, Basher Hussain against Joven Alba and Darren Appleton against Ronnie Alcano.
At the end of the day there will be only two men left with a chance to be the next Champion of the World.