Double Gold For Top Class Pongers

Yannick Pongers

Yannick Pongers is a double gold medal winner as he triumphed in the U19 9 ball division, beating Germany’s Yuma Dorner by 8-5 at the Petrich Arena in southern Bulgaria. The 17-year-old Dutchman from Veldhoven had earlier triumphed in the 8 ball final and his national squad is now five gold medals to the good at the Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships for Youth.

Pongers, who looks a threat to anyone he plays, was stunned by his own success in Petrich, “It feels just so awesome. When I came here, I just thought ‘get on the podium’ and I still can’t imagine how I did it – two golds is insane for me!

“When he came back at me, I thought how did that happen? I’ve practiced mentally a lot so I kept focused and stayed calm and it just worked. I don’t know how I did it – a few lucky rolls, I guess. I had a quick rack where it was over in ten seconds and after that I felt more in control.”

Pongers got the final underway with a tidy runout before Dorner lost the table playing a 4/8 combination and his opponent cleared for a 2-0 lead. The Dutchman ran out from the break in the third as he got off to the best possible start and with the momentum of a runaway train, Pongers secured the next rack leaving Dorner reeling on the side-lines at 4-0 down.

Dorner, who won the straight pool title here as well as a bronze in the 8 ball division, finally got off the mark in the fifth game but had it all to do to get the match on an even keel. In the fifth game, the German player ran out of position with just the 8 and 9 remaining but a neat snooker forced Pongers into the jump. He contacted the 8 and it fell perfectly for Dorner, who got the score back to 4-2.

The momentum was swinging in Dorner’s direction as he closed out the next rack after a dry break from Pongers. Dorner took the next to level the match as his comeback continued but a combination on the 9 ball straight after the break, restored a one-rack lead for Pongers at 5-4.

That became 6-4 as Pongers’ fortuitous 2 /9 combo after a table length jump shot was a real blow to Dorner as the Dutchman moved into a 6-4 lead. Some more good play saw Pongers whizz through the next rack to put himself on the hill at 7-4. The German wasn’t quite finished as a lucky multi-ball carom on the 9 gave him the rack.

Looking to play safe, Pongers nearly undid his good work as he tucked the cue ball tight behind the 8 and sent the red 2 up table. The ball hung in the jaws and Dorner fouled with his escape attempt. With ball-in-hand, the title was Pongers for the taking and he duly obliged to bring home his second gold medal of the tournament.

Pongers, who spoke to his family after his 8 ball triumph said, “They were very proud of me, it was just awesome. They’ve always been there for me, driving me to every tournament, they’re just so great.

“I’m going to finish school and then give pool a go for one or two years and see what happens but I definitely want to go on with pool,” he added.

Bronze medals went to the two beaten semi-finalists; Szymon Kural (POL), his second of the championships and to Dennis Laszkowski (GER) who added to his 10 ball gold.

The 2022 Dynamic Billards European Championship Youth comprises 14 separate events across four disciplines – 8, 9 and 10 ball as well as straight pool – plus the male and female team competitions. In total there are three divisions; male U19, male U17 and female U19. In total, there are 111 competitors in attendance – 19 girls, 57 boys in the U17 division and 35 boys in the U19.

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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