Uphill Climb for Billiard Stars at World Team Pool Championship
By Ted Lerner
(Beijing, China)- The 2012 World Pool Team Championship has arrived at the business end of the proceedings as the field of 24 pool playing nations has been reduced down to 16 teams, who will now square off in single elimination matches in Beijing for the title.
It’s been a busy three days in China’s bustling capital but it didn’t take long to figure out that the top pool playing nations in the world would easily advance. The format has ensured almost no surprises at the top of the pool food chain, as the sheer amount of matches each team has played in each contest means the chances of surprise or lucky outcomes was just about zero.
Indeed the list of top seeds is a who’s who of the world’s best pool playing countries; Chinese-Taipei, China 2, the Philippines, China 1, Japan and Great Britain.
Chinese Taipei, led by a confident squad which includes World 8-ball champion Chang Jung Lin, Fu Che Wei, Ko Pin Yi, and two-time Amway Cup champion Chieh Yu Chou, outlasted a game German team today 4-2. Germany made it through to the final 16, but they are clearly being hampered by the lack of experience of their female player, Jasmin Michel.
The Philippines, with Efren “Bata” Reyes, Francisco Bustamante, Dennis Orcullo and Rubilen Amit, once again looked the goods as they brushed aside Croatia 5 – 1. The Philippines is employing a unique strategy in all their matches, putting the legend Reyes only in doubles matches, both the 8-ball and 10 ball. Expect the Pinoy team to continue down this path as they’ve barely been touched so far.
With the home town crowd cheering their every move, China 1 and China 2 both won their matches handily. China 1, with Li He Wen, Fu Jian Bo, Liu Haitao and females Fu Xiaofang and Pan Xiao Ting alternating, blanked Finland 6 – 0. China 2 took out Hong Kong 5-1.
Great Britain, one of the early favorites in this event had a tough tussle with South Korea today and the match ended in a tie, 3 – 3. South Korea is proving to be a very difficult team to conquer and they are perhaps the leading dark horse going into the knockout stage.
Japan also presents a very formidable squad but they lost today to a very inspired Sweden team, led by veteran Marcus Chamat. Sweden need to win their matchup with Japan to go through, and they fought back from a 2 – 0 deficit and took the last four matches to win 4 -2 and advance. Look to Sweden to present a difficult front in the knockout stage.
“We had the knife to our throats,” Chamat said. “We had everything to play for, so we were pumped up. You win as a team and you lose as a team.”
A razor sharp knife will surely be poised at a few throats in the next three days as the tournament takes on an entirely new complexion with the format presenting lots of opportunities for dramatic finishes and results. With each contest between countries featuring six individual matches, there is a very distinct possibility that the two teams will end up tied at 3 – 3. In that case the two teams will engage in a dramatic and highly difficult shootout to determine who advances and who goes home.
The shootout will work like this; The object ball(8-ball) will be placed in the middle of the foot rail at the same level as the first diamond. The cue ball will be placed on the head spot. Players have the choice to try and pocket the ball in either the left or right corner pockets. All players will play in sequence and the team to score six hits first with a margin of two or more(6-4, 7-5, etc.) will be the winner and will advance to the next round.
The shootout was introduced two years ago at the very first World Pool Team championship in Hanover, Germany and produced one of the most memorable moments the sport had seen in years. In the quarterfinals Great Britain and China went to a shootout, and the two teams slugged it out with over 60 made pots, with the Brits eventually winning 27 – 25. Great Britain went on to win the event.
The field will be down to the final four by the end of the day on Wednesday. The semi-finals will be played on July 5, while the final will commence on July 6.
The winning team will share $80,000, while the runner up will get $40,000. The total prize fund is $300,000
*The World Pool and Billiard Association(WPA) is the governing body of the sport of pocket billiards.
The 2012 World Pool Team Championship is sanctioned by the WPA, The Multi-Ball Games Administrative Center of General Administration of Sport, Chinese Billiard and Snooker Federation, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sport, Beijing Sports Federation.
Day 3 Results, Group Stages
Indonesia 5 – 1 Estonia
Philippines 6 – 0 Croatia
Canada 5 – 1 Malaysia
China 1 6 – 0 Finland
Australia 3 – 3 Singapore
China 2, 5 – 1 Hong Kong
Poland 5 – 1 Vietnam
Sweden 4 – 2 Japan
India 5 – 1 South Africa
Norway 4 – 2 Mongolia
Great Britain 3 – 3 South Korea
Chinese Taipei 4 – 2 Germany
Round of 16, Single Elimination
Matches are in order in which they are listed on the knockout chart
Chinese-Taipei vs. India
Sweden vs. Indonesia
Great Britain vs. Australia
Poland vs. China 1
Philippines vs. Norway
Germany vs. Japan
South Korea vs. Canada
China 2 vs. Finland
Winning Team: $80,000
Runner Up: $40,000
Philippines—Efren Reyes, Francisco Bustamante, Dennis Orcullo, Rubilen Amit
Croatia—Ivica Putnik, Bozo Primic, Carlo Calmatin Zrinka Antonijevic
Estonia—Erki Erm, Joonas Saska, Mark Magi, Anna Grintosuk
Indonesia—Ricky Wang, Isral Afrinneza Nasution, Muhammad Zulfikri, Amand Rahayu
China 1—Li He Wen, Fu Jianbo, Liu Haitao, Fu Xiaofang, Pan Xiao Ting
Finland—Peter Makkonen, Aki Heiskanen, Abbas Al-Marayati, Marika Pokkijoki
Canada—Jason Klatt, John Morra, Erik Hjorleifson, Brittany Bryant
Malaysia—Ibrahim Amir, Patrick Ooi, Moh Keen Hoo, Klaudia Djajalie
China 2—Dang Jinhu, Dai Yong, Han Haoxiang, Liu Shasha, Chen Siming
Hong Kong—Kenny Kwok, Lee Chenman, Andrew Kong, Ellen Cheung, Ruby Cheung
Singapore—Sharik Aslam Sayed, Toh Lian Han, Aloysius Yapp, Lum Wai Keong, Ann Koh Seng
Australia—David Rothall, Louis Condo, Robby Foldvari, Lyndall Hulley
Japan—Yukio Akagariyama, Toru Kuribayashi, Naoyuki Oi, Chihiro Kawahara
Sweden—Marcus Chamat, Tomas Larsson, Andreas Gerwen, Carline Roos
Vietnam—Do The Kien, Nguyen Anh Tuan, Nguyen Manh Tung, Doan Thi Ngoc Le
Poland—Mateusz Sniegocki, Radoslaw Babica, Tomasz Kaplan, Oliwia Czuprynska
Great Britain—Darren Appleton, Daryl Peach, Chris Melling, Mark Gray, Kelly Fisher
South Korea—Lee Wansu, Ryu Seungwoo, Hwang Yong, Kim Ga Young
India– Alok Kumar, Sundeep Gulati, Syed Habib, Neena Praveen
South Africa—Dave Van Den Berg, Dino Nair, Nickie Erasmus, Nicola Roussouw
Chinese Taipei—Chang Jung Lin, Fu Che Wei, Ko Pin Yi, Chieh Yu Chou
Germany—Oliver Ortmann, Thorsten Hohmann, Ralf Souquet, Jasmin Michel
Norway– Roger Rasmussen, Mats Schjetne, Matey Ullah, Ine Helvik
Mongolia—L. Munkbold, L. Delgerdalai, T. Amarjargal, B. Uyanga, A. Batkhuu
*Each match between countries will feature the teams playing each other in a set of six matches, all alternate break; two races in 8 ball, two in 9-ball and two in 10-ball.
*One 8-ball match will be men’s scotch doubles, race to 6. The other 8-ball match will be a men’s singles, race to 6.
*In 9-ball, the teams will compete in a women’s singles, race to 8, and a men’s singles race to 8.
*In 10-ball, the teams will play one mixed doubles match(scotch doubles), race to 7, and one men’s singles match race to 7.
*The female player must play in the 10-ball mixed doubles match, and a 9-ball match.
*No player is permitted to play more than two matches per session.