Smooth Hungary leave China reeling

Miko Balazs and Gabor Solymosi

Japan 7-4 Sweden
Hungary 7-2 China
Russia 7-5 Hong Kong

The 2013 World Cup of Pool received its first major shock today at the York Hall in East London as European qualifiers Hungary dumped two-time World Cup champions China out of the competition with a clinical 7-2 win.
The Hungarian duo of Gabor Solymosi and Mikos Balazs had scrapped their way through a European qualifying event in Croatia last month, but their respective careers to date have been fairly low key.
On the other hand, the Chinese pair of Li Hewen and Liu Haitao, have excellent track records with Li in particular, a twice winner of this event and also a bronze and silver medallist at the World Pool Championship in 2006 and 2012 respectively.
However, pedigree counted for nothing as the Hungarians played flawlessly to move into a 5-0 lead. Despite the Chinese grabbing a couple of racks, to give themselves a slim chance in the winner breaks format, they could do nothing with the break and the Hungarians cruised to the win.
“We were really confident we could beat China,” said a delighted Balazs.
“They are very strong but we practiced a lot and we knew if it came together and we played well that we would win the match.
“We have practiced a lot together to get the feel of playing together; it was practice, practice, practice. We are very happy to get through to the second round and we can win this tournament.
“The tables are great, we have been practicing a lot since we arrived here to get the feel of the table and they are superb to play on.” He added.
In the next round they face Russia, who completed an error-strewn 7-5 win over a Hong Kong team who went to pieces in the closing stages.
Stepanov and Chinakhov, who have represented Russia in all but one year of this competition, opened up a 4-0 lead as Hong Kong barely got to the table. That soon became 4-3 as the Russians derailed and at 5-5, Hong Kong (Lee Chenman and Kong Bo Hong) had a chance.
A series of inexplicable shots though in the pressurised final stages did for the Asian pairing as Russian took the match.
The 2013 World Cup of Pool runs from Tuesday September 17 to Sunday, September 22 at the famous York Hall in Bethnal Green, East London. The field features 32 teams from 31 countries in a single elimination format. The total prize fund is US$250,000 with $60,000 going to the eventual champions.
Play continues this evening three more first round matches:
USA v Kuwait
Poland v Singapore
Canada v India
For live streaming of the World Cup of Pool go to
The 2013 World Cup of Pool runs from 17 – 22 September and takes place at the York Hall, London. For those wanting to watch the action in person, all tickets are available from (Search ‘World Cup of Pool’)