Mario He Sneaks Past Defending Champion Bijsterbosch In 10-Ball

Mario He (top), Ivan Galic (left) and Luka Galic
In a remarkable match in the men’s division, Mario He (AUT) managed to outplay the defending Champion Marc Bijsterbosch (NED) and sneaked past him with an 8:7 victory. After 6 racks in the match, Bijsterbosch was on track and had a 4:2 lead over Mario He. He was half way there already. But Mario He is known to be a really dangerous player when it comes to comebacks since he never surrenders. Just like today. The Austrian levelled the match at 4:4 and from then on it was both players scoring points in turn. This led to an inevitable 7:7 hill-hill situation with Mario having the break shot. The pressure was on for He, being up against the defending Champion. Mario he broke and the 8-ball went in the pocket. He had a nice layout in front of him with a clear shot on the 1-ball but the 2-ball was very close to the 4-ball. Mario He pocketed the 1-ball but overran the position. He now had a really thin cut on the 2-ball in front of him. Having in mind the pressure that must have been on him, the difficulty of the shot could not have been higher. However,  Mario He mastered the situation and pocketed the 2-ball, having all of his problems solved from now on. The rest of the layout was smooth sailing for the Austrian. Mario cleared the table and took the match with the closest of all results, 8:7 against a disappointed Marc Bijsterbosch who will get another chance on the loser’s side while Mario he is already qualified for the single elimination round of the final 64 players in men’s 10-ball.
The 10-ball competition in both youth divisions, U17 and U19 had one thing in common: almost no seeded players were attending the event. This had to do with the fact that 7 out of 8 players reached the time limit in their respective division. The only seeded player was Ivan Galic (CRO) in the U17 division. He became 3rd last year and therefore was seeded #1 this year. Galic had a walk-over in the first round and then outplayed Arseniy Kovalerchik (RUS) 6:3 to make it to the round of the last 32 athletes. Galic’s younger brother Luka joined him there with victories over Mehmet Ozbay (TNC) 6:5 and Ihor Lialin (UKR) 6:2. The earliest possibility for the to see each other would be the final match though. It’s noticeable this year that not only „the usual suspects“ with regards to nations make their way in the tournament. The single elimination is composed of players from many different nations which is a proof that the level of play in the „weaker“ nations has grown throughout the last years.
Same goes for the senior’s division. Athletes from 13 different nations are among the 16 players who have already qualified over the winner’s bracket into the round of the final 32 players. Also here the bandwidth of nations represented has increased compared to previous year which can be regarded as a very positive development for the sport of pool billiards. Last year’s winner as well as one bronze medallist are not playing this year. The other two medallists from last year Reiner Wirsbitzki (GER) and Murat Ayas (SUI) have reached the round of the final 32 players.
In the women’s 10-ball division, the two names that normally dominate European pool events are Jasmin Ouschan (AUT) and Kristina Tkach (RUS). However, last year was not their 10-ball year and they were both not among the medallists. Therefore, they were not seeded this year. Defending Champion Amalia Matas (ESP) is not present, so Ana Gradisnik (SLO) was seeded #1. She and some other names are definitely worth keeping an eye on in this year’s 10-ball competition as well. In this group belong Kateryna Polovinchuk (UKR), Oliwia Czuprynska (POL) and Marharyta Fefilava (BLR). All those athletes are still on the winner’s side except Fefilava who lost 1:6 to Polovinchuk.
The wheelchair athletes have also entered the stage today and started their first discipline, the 10-ball game. 19 athletes have enlisted into the competition. Defending Champion Kurt Deklerck (BEL) received a pretty tough debacle in his first match, losing to fellow countryman David Himpe (BEL) 2:5 in the winner’s qualification round. Deklerck will go on the loser’s side and meet Kim Ronny Nygaard (NOR) for another shot at making it into the round of the last 8 athletes.
The Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships 2018 will commence tomorrow morning at 09:00 CET with matches in the 10-ball individuals competition girls, seniors, U17 and U19.
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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 or visit us on Facebook for regular news clips or contact our press office