“Race to 5 is a joke”

Allison Fisher

Says the world's best female player, Allison Fisher, after losing 5:3 against newcomer, Rubilen Amit, from the Philippines. This loss put Fisher out of of the competition and out of the top half of the board for the first time since she started playing in the World Championships in 1995.

Fisher went on to say that she skipped last year's event because of the conditions and she wasn't happy with them this year. Allison is beloved by the Asian fans and the media so it is expected that there will be a little fallout over her uncharacteristic remarks.

She had attended a press conference in the morning where she signed on as the spokesperson for Orbis, www.orbis.org - a charity that provides free eye surgery for those in need around the world. A perfect fit for billiards was Allison's observation given that good eyesight is imperative for good play. Also Fisher mentioned that the subject is very dear to her since her own diagnosis with skin cancer just below her eye. The cancer was successfully removed but was quite a scare for someone who is so dependent on her eyesight in her profession.

From good spirits to sour notes though as Allison Fisher watched the final 9 drop and with it her quest for a 6th world championship ended.

Helena Thornfeldt got whitewashed 5:0 as well on the way to becoming a spectator. When asked who she played, Helena responded testily, "does it matter". The intensity is palpable.

Gerda Hofstaetter also didn't make it through her group and joins the ranks of high powered players to fall.

Kelly Fisher, sponsored by Fury Cues, is cementing her Kwik Fire nickname by winning her matches before the other players get their cases unpacked. Kelly won her last three matches with the scores of 5:0, 5:1 and 5:2 in what seemed like less than 30 minutes total. It may have been 35 minutes.

Not surprisingly the Taipei contingent is doing well. This is their home turf and they are defending it vigorously. Out of the 8 qualifiers from Taipei, five have survived their groups and join their four countrywomen to take nine strong players into the last 24.

Japan is represented with three players left. The USA is has two barrels aimed at the title with the always tough Monica Webb and the newest reason not to mess with Texas, Kim White. Korea is standing tall with two time champ Ga Young Kim.

Naomi Williams, Canada's lone entrant, is still gunning for Canada's first women's world title. Europe is well represented with Kelly Fisher, Wendy Jans, Jasmin Ouschan, and Diana Stateczny.

Saturday begins with single elimination races to seven with winner breaks. Multiple runs are expected.

Look for more updates on the AZ Billiards forums. For now, good night and good rolls.