Another Gold For Schuurman As Gnadeberg Wins Under 17 Thriller

Jolien Schuurman

The Netherlands Jolien Schuurman added to her 8 ball gold medal as she defeated Lena Primus (AUT) 6-3 in the Girls’ 9 Ball final while Estonia’s Karl Gnadeberg took gold in the U17 title match as he defeated Riku Romppanen in a thriller that went down to the final three balls. The two matches concluded individual medals at the Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships for Youth in Petrich, Bulgaria.

In the girls’ final, both players were looking to add to their respective medal tallies; while Schuurman had triumphed in the 8 ball,
Primus had a bronze to her name from the 10 ball division. The Dutch girl took the early lead in the race-to-six final which soon became 2-0.

In the next, both players went back and forth on the pink 4 ball before Primus enjoyed a slice of luck as the balls flew around the table before hooking Schuurman, who left the ball on with her escape. Primus hung on admirably to clear the remaining five balls and reduce the deficit to one rack.

Cueing well, the Dutch girl secured the next rack and a very tidy run out in the fifth game saw her increase her lead to 4-1. In the next, it came down to the final ball on the table and Primus had the most awkward of 9 balls and she could do nothing but hit and hope. Unfortunately, it only succeeded in leaving an elementary pot for Schuurman who moved the score to 5-1 and leave herself one away from victory,

Primus though, steadied her nerves as she took the seventh game to get to 5-2. A solid break from Schuurman in the eighth left the 1 ball on as well as a potential 2/9 match-winning combo. A collision with the green 6 didn’t help her cause but the she took it on and narrowly missed it. Primus re-established herself in the rack as she ran out for 5-3.

Primus’s break was a good one and she had a chance for the run out, but came unstuck on the pink 4. Both girls had visits before Schuurman held herself together to take her second gold medal in marvellous fashion.

Afterwards, Schuurman was naturally thrilled by her achievements, “It’s amazing – I never expected this so it’s hard to describe it. My goal coming here was just to get a medal but the field was pretty small so I thought maybe the final would be nice and if you’re in the final, you’d better win!

“During the match, I tried not to think about the stakes and what happens if you win or lose and to forget about the pressure and it
worked pretty good. I focused a lot and that was an advantage as it’s easier to let the pressure go. It’s been a fantastic week and now I have to find a way to fit the trophies in my bag!”

Alara Ghaffari of Northern Cyprus collected her third medal of the championships following her bronze in the 8 ball division and silver in 10 ball. The other bronze medal went Shirin Volery of Switzerland.

Karl Gnadeberg (Estonia)

In the U17 category, it was Estonia’s Karl Gnadeberg who carried off the gold after a final rack that twisted its way to a thrilling conclusion. Having clawed his way back to 6 racks apiece, Finland’s Riku Romppanen had a golden chance to close the match out with three balls left on the table.

Gnadeberg had the break in the decider and saw two balls drop. Maintaining control, he had a low percentage chance on the 2 ball but he made a clever two-way shot, missing the 2 ball but hiding the white. The Finn failed in his attempt to escape and with ball-in-hand, it was a wonderful chance for the Estonian boy.

The balls were out in the open but he left the 4 ball hanging in the pocket as he tried to force position. Romppanen couldn’t believe his opportunity. The 6 ball down table, was the difficult one but he made it nicely but sent the cue ball flying and it came to rest at the bottom of the centre pocket. With another ball-in-hand, Gnadeberg deposited the 8 and 9 for the championship.

Gnadeberg was always in the ascendancy having led 1-0, then 3-1, 4-2, 5-2 and then 6-3. The classy Finnish player though, gamely battled back, levelling the match at 6-6 before the fateful decider.

“It was nerve- wracking! Last year I also got into the finals but it went bad so this year I hoped for the best and tried to play like never before. Getting the trophy is an amazing feeling and I don’t think I’ll ever forget this,” said a delighted Gnadeberg.

“Usually, I am the one who makes those mistakes but this time the billiard gods came to me! He made some amazing shots but the last one was just unlucky for him. I put my head down and saw the white ball go in and thought ‘this is now over’ and I am the European Champion,” he added.

Bronze medallists in the 9 ball division were Juho Teittinen (FIN) and Alessio Hybler (GER), son of European pool veteran Roman Hybler.

All matches can be viewed live at as well as selected matches on the EPBF’s Facebook page.

Results, live scoring and draws are available at

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