Gonzalez, Funaki Reach Quarter-Finals of The World Games

Pedro Gonzalez

Pedro Gonzalez 40, Sameh Sidhom 34

Colombia’s Pedro Gonzalez made the most of his first appearance in the World Games, using two breaks of five points to jump out to an early lead and defeat Egypt’s Sameh Sidhom, 40-34, in a tight opening round-of-16 match Thursday evening in Birmingham.

Sidhom took an early 4-1 advantage but Gonzalez would quickly obtain a lead that he would not relinquish although the Egyptian continued to apply pressure. When the Colombian built an 11-point lead, his opponent used a 7-point break of his own to cut the deficit to a single point. However, Sidhom was never able to overtake his opponent, as the Egyptian battled a case of nerves.

“I felt like I was too stressed for the situation that I was in,” said Sidhom “I put myself under too much pressure than I should have been under.”

Kouji Funaki 40, Marco Zanetti 23

Japan’s Kouji Funaki used breaks of six, seven, nine and five points to jump out to a sizable second-half lead and defeat Italy’s Marco Zanetti in the opening round of three-cushion play Thursday evening.

After taking a brief intermission, Funaki broke the match open with a run of nine points which allowed him to build a 33-18 lead.

“After the timeout, I made a big run and that was key,” said Funaki.

Fanetti rattled off five straight points of his own to trim the deficit to 10 points but was unable to pull any closer, as Kouji used a five-point run to close out the match.

The early exit for Zanetti will means that the Italian will not be leaving the World Games with a medal for the first time in four attempts, having earned silver in Poland in 2017, Gold in Colombia in 2013 and a bronze in Taiwan in 2009.

“This game can be easy or very difficult,” Zanetti said. “This time for me it was not running the way I wish. Let’s say the luck was not on my side today and my opponent was playing very strong.”

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at https://www.theworldgames.org/pages/twg2022streaming. The match schedule, results, and live scores are at esnooker.pl

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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