Michelangelo Aniello is the king of Birilli

Michelangelo Aniello (ITA)

It is now half-time at the European Billiards Championships in Brandenburg/Germany. On the fifth day of the continental championships the Italian Michelangelo Aniello secured the gold medal in the Birilli-tournament with a 3:0 success over his compatriot Sandro Giachetti.

In general this competition was a demonstration of the Italians and an exclamation point for the upcoming team competition. 7 out of 8 players in the quarterfinal were wearing the Italian flag on the chest. Only Thomas Hähne from Germany could also qualify for the final eight but retired with 1:3 sets against Daniel Lopez.

Later Lopez lost in the semifinal against Giachetti whilst Natalino Scorza was defeated by Aniello. Scorza had previously eliminated top favorite Andrea Quarta with 50:48 points in the final set.

In the Cadets 3 cushion-event the German Billiards Union could celebrate their first gold. Tobias Bouerdick defeated Frenchman Enzo Riquart by 25:15 after 18 innings. When it was 14:14 Bouerdick ran eleven points to reach the required 25 points. Riquart still had one chance to come back but only made one point. Bronze was shared by the Dutchman Joey de Kok and Riquarts fellow countryman Jean Haby.

The third decision of the day was the Partie Libre in the juniors division. Guido Kauffeld (Netherlands) was down 57:60 against the Belgian Andy de Bondt but finished the game with 243 points in a row. Then de Bondt had the chance to make it even but failed after 36 points.

The semifinal between Kauffeld and his compatriot Gertjan Veldhuizen was a world class-thriller. Kauffeld finished the necessary 300 points in the first inning but Veldhuizen took the opportunity to come back so the match went into the extension. After a short break it was Kauffeld to play his first inning and made the required 30 points while the pressure was obviously too large for Veldhuizen. He surprisingly missed the opening shot.
In the Birilli Team-competition the Italian squad started with two straight wins against Switzerland and Denmark. There is no doubt that they are willing to win back the title which was “stolen” by Germany two years ago. In front of their home crowd Germany won also their first two matches versus Luxembourg and France.
The 3 cushion-specialists (small table) are divided in 15 groups of four players in the preliminary round. The first two are going to the round of the last 32. In this stage the seeded players Michel van Camp (Belgium) and Dutchman Dick Jaspers will also join the tournament.

All results of the European Billiards Championships can be found on www.eurobillard.org under section “Calendar & Tournament Info” whilst all pictures and further media-information are published on www.touch-magazine.net
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