European 9-ball quarter-finals played

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz

Thursday, March 31, 2011: Thursday play at the European Championships starts with the 9-ball quarter-finals in all divisions.

The organizer has ordered four doping tests for randomly drawn players. This is done in most sports today in order to satisfy the requests from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). These tests are never announced and more tests may follow.

The most surprising result in the men's quarter-final matches was the victory of World Junior Champion Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (SPA) over “Terminator” Niels Feijen (NED) 9:4. Sanchez took a quick 4:0 lead, but Feijen stroked back and tied the match at 4:4. Things were looking better for the Dutch player, but then the unexpected happened. Sanchez pulled out his best game and put together rack after rack. When he was on the hill, Niels tried to play a tough shot and scratched. Sanchez came to the table being on the hill, having 5 balls on the table and ball in hand. He pocketed them, defeating Niels Feijen with 9:4.

The feature match on table 24 in that round was the match between Mariusz Skoneczny (POL) and Nick van den Berg (NED). Van den Berg won the encounter 9:5 but the result could have been the other way around as well. That does not mean that Nick played bad – he was just unlucky with his break shots. Skoneczny played steady until the score was 5:5. Then he made unnecessary mistakes and made it possible for Nick to seize the match from him. The Polish player had so many chances that he did not make use of. He either overpaced the position for the next shot and then missed the next ball or he pulled the cue ball in the pocket. It seems he was pretty nervous playing in front of all the TV cameras.

In the women's division, Jasmin Ouschan (AUT) succeeded in taking revenge over Marika Poikkijoki (FIN) by winning 7:5. “This time I picked the wrong tactics too many times”, says the likeable Finnish player after the match, “I went for the shot when I should have played safe.” “I think my nerves did not work as well as they did in 8-ball. I was too nervous and that is probably the reason why I made the mistakes. Jasmin deserved the win”.

What also makes today a special day is the fact that the semi-finals and the final in the men's division will be aired LIVE on Eurosport 2. Many people work behind the curtains in order to prepare everything for the production.

Men's Quarter-finals Results
Kim Laaksonen (FIN) v Huidji See (NED) 3:9
Mariusz Skoneczny (POL) v Nick van den Berg (NED) 5:9
Mario He (AUT) v Serge Das (BEL) 9:4
Niels Feijen (NED) v Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (SPA) 4:9

Women's Quarter-final results:
Jasmin Ouschan (AUT) v Marika Poikkijoki (FIN) 7:5
Line Kjoersvik (NOR) v Kamila Khodjaeva (BEL) 7:1
Anastasia Nechaeva (RUS) v Laetitia Dos Santos (FRA) 7:6
Viktoria Nagorna (UKR) v Gerda Hofstaetter (AUT) 1:7

Wheelchair Quarter-final results:
Tony Southern (GBR) v Daniel Luton (GBR) 7:5
Fred Dinsmore (IRL) v Jouni Tahti (FIN) 4:7
Aslum Aboobakar (GBR) v Roy Kimberley (GBR) 4:7
Henrik Larsson (SWE) v Manfred Gatinger (GER) 7:6

Men's semi-finals:
Huidji See (NED) v Nick van den Berg (NED)
Mario He (AUT) v Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (SPA)

Women's semi-finals:
Jasmin Ouschan (AUT) v Line Kjoersvik (NOR)
Anastasia Nechaeva (RUS) v Gerda Hofstaetter (AUT)

Wheelchair semi-finals:
Tony Southern (GBR) v Jouni Tahti (FIN)
Roy Kimberley (GBR) v Henrik Larsson (SWE)

The women's and wheelchair semi-finals will be played straight after this round while the men's semi-finals will be played later on due to the LIVE coverage on TV.

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 event website or contact our press office.