Echeverria Upsets Hometown Audience In Veldhoven
Thomas Overbeck (EPBF)
Jul. 22, 2018
Ine Helvik (left) and Iker-Andoni Echeverria
Ine Helvik (left) and Iker-Andoni Echeverria
It is really hard to speak of „surprises“ or „upsets“ in this stage of the Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships since there are so many top names in the event where everybody could beat everybody. Except one exception in the men’s division which will be described in the following. However, Mieszko Fortunski’s (POL) victory with 8:7 over BCA Hall of Famer Ralf Souquet (GER) is definitely worth mentioning. Two rounds later, Joshua Filler (GER) took revenge on Fortunski for his friend Souquet and eliminated the Polish with 8:3. Filler’s opponent in the quarter-final will be Tomasz Kaplan (POL) who might be up in turn to take revenge on him now. Kaplan eliminated Francisco Diaz-Pizarro (ESP) in an epic thriller with 8:7 earlier. Konstantin Stepanov (RUS) managed to break the run of defending Champion Marc Bijsterbosch (NED). He overpowered him with 8:5 and will now face his teammate Ruslan Chinakhov (RUS) in the next round. Albin Ouschan (AUT) is up against total surprise player Iker-Andoni Echeverria (ESP) in the quarter-final. The Spaniard shocked the hometown audience and ousted their local hero Niels Feijen (NED) 8:6. That was probably „the“ surprise of the day today! Feijen was already 6:4 up in the match and everybody expected the Dutch to make it through the match relatively easy. But Echeverria was a tough piece of work for „The Terminator“. Too tough, as it was to turn out. Echeverria took the next four consecutive racks from Feijen and rode the winning wave with 8:6 over the Dutch #1 player.
 
In the youth division, matches went mostly as expected. The Under 19’s are once more dominated by Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH), Wiktor Zielinski (POL), Mustafa Alnar (TNC) and Jan Van Lierop (NED). Though they are still so young, they all have a tremendous amount of experience and use it to get the needed advantage over their opponents. Jonas Souto (ESP) might be a contender to keep an eye on in that division. Among the Under 17’s, Ivan Galic (CRO) is still left in the field while his younger brother Luka was ousted by Arseniy Kovalerchik (RUS) 6:3. Together with Ivan Galic, Quinten Pongers (NED), Christoffer Lentz (DEN) and Moritz Neuhausen (GER) are the athletes „on fire“ in that division. In the girls’ competition, Darya Siranchuk (UKR) was the #1 seeded player but received two whippings back to back. On the winner’s side, she fell to Daria Cheprasova (BLR) with 3:5. Then, she straight away lost to Viktoria Gurova (RUS) 1:5 even. Out of eight remains athletes, two come from Belarus and two from Russia. This division is definitely dominated by the Eastern members these days.
 
In the women’s division, the #1 seeded player got eliminated today. Ana Gradisnik (SLO) was clearly ousted by Oliwia Czuprynska (POL) 3:6 in the round of the last 16 players. In the same round, the two „big ones“ in the women’s field also had to struggle to overcome their opponents. Kristina Tkach (RUS) was already down 0:3 against Pia Filler (GER), when Filler started losing her game. She made errors in positioning as well as pocketing the balls which Tkach capitalised from in her usual effective way. those mistakes made Tkach grew stronger and she turned the match around completely, throwing Filler out of the 10-ball event with 6:3 in the end. Jasmin Ouschan (AUT) also was trailing big time against Eylul Kibaroglu (TUR) with 2:4 in a race to 6. But also Kibaroglu started to feel the heat in the match against the favoured Austrian and showed some weaknesses towards the end of the match. She ran out of position in rack 7 which she should have won easily but completely ran out of position for the 7-ball so Ouschan could make the point. Ouschan’s experience definitely helped her a lot to turn the tide in that match. She did not allow Kibaroglu to the table too many times anymore and grabbed all remaining racks for her to win this encounter with 6:4 and advance to the quarter-finals where seh will have to deal with Kateryna Polovinchuk (UKR).
 
The seniors and ladies are also down to the quarter-finals by now. Sandor Tot (HUN) ended Reiner Wirsbitzki’s (GER) hopes for another title in 10-ball by smashing him 7:1 in the round before. Together with Henrique Correia (POR), Tot is the hottest challenger for the title now. Ine Helvik (NOR), defending Champion in the Ladies’ division, did her work so far and will face Ann-Sofie Lofgren (SWE) in the quarter-final round. Amazingly, Helvik as the treasurer of the EPBF has to work all through the day but still seems to find the time and the energy to perform on the highest level of the game and be a tough piece of work for her opponents.
 
In the wheelchair division, only four matches in the loser’s qualification round took place today. Probably the biggest surprise was Tony Southern (GBR) ousting multi-time Champion Henrik Larsson (SWE) with 5:3. Defending Champion Kurt Deklerck (BEL) just made it to the quarter-finals over the loser’s side with a close 5:4 victory over Kim-Ronny Nygaard (NOR).
 
The last round of the day was a team competition round. The first team matches were completed. The team competition always creates a special atmosphere among the audience. It seems that routing for countries and national teams is more uniting the different groups of supporters here in the NH Conference Centre Koningshof in Veldhoven, The Netherlands. All results can be found on the event website at www.europeanpoolchampionships.eu
 
The Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships 2018 will commence tomorrow morning at 09:00 CET with matches in the team competition. The 10-ball finals are scheduled for 16:00 CET.
 
The Jubilee Championships are played on 60 tables which are all streamed LIVE throughout the whole event. In order to be able to follow all the action LIVE, premium membership can be obtained at www.kozoom.com. Once a premium membership is held, all events for the respective period of time can be viewed LIVE. Additionally, a huge video gallery is contained in the website.
 
The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website www.epconline.eu or visit us on Facebook for regular news clips or contact our press office press@epbf.com.