Super Pongers Takes Under 19 European 8 Ball Gold

Yannick Pongers

Yannick Pongers kick-started a glorious night for the Dutch squad as he put in a devastating performance to take U19 8 ball gold at the Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships Youth, defeating Germany’s Eric Mattern by 7-0. The tall Dutch player was a gold medallist in the U17 9 ball at this event last year and was delighted to add to his trophy cabinet.

‘This feels very good! It was tough, the first two disciplines so I was kind of under much more pressure. I actually hated 8 ball for about two years so I tried to focus and watch all my patterns and it kind of worked out,” commented Pongers.

“I don’t think I made a mistake – maybe a few dry breaks but that was it and no missed balls.  It’s just me and the table and I’m focused and it was ball for ball, rack for rack and it worked,” he added.

Both finalists had some success earlier in the event; the Dutchman won a silver medal in the straight pool division, while Mattern took a bronze in the same discipline. Pongers took the opening rack, running out from the break, before Mattern hooked himself with just one stripe left and managed to clip the brown 7 trying to make a one rail escape. With ball-in-hand, Pongers didn’t waste any time in increasing his lead.

Hitting his stride, Pongers ran through the next rack to put himself three racks to the good, putting Mattern under the hammer. Pongers was running away with it as he confidently took the next rack for a 4-0 lead and followed that with some more clinical pool to increase his lead, leaving himself just two racks from glory.

There was more woe for Mattern in the sixth game as he had no ball on and was forced to break out his jump cue. He made contact with his intended stripe but saw the cue ball fly off the table to give ball-in-hand to his opponent. Pongers gratefully accepted it as he cleared to put himself on the hill.

The match was all over in a matter of 30 minutes as Pongers capped a brilliant display of 8 ball to win the seventh rack and with it become Dynamic Billiard European Junior 8 Ball Champion.

It was to be the first of a clean sweep of gold medals for the Netherlands, something that brought great pleasure the Dutch Team Leader, Rienus Gennissen.

“It’s really unbelievable. We had a boot camp and did two special days on 8 ball and see now, three gold medals. In the end, they (the players) are doing it. We only give tools that they can build on and they decide what they use and what they don’t use, so all credit for them.

“Yannick was flying and it’s so nice to work with someone who can pot every single shot and make it look very easy. Mika (Van Berkel) is the thinker of the three and then Jolien (Schuurman), it was unbelievable how she played. I’m really proud of them,” added Gennissen.

The silver medal went to Eric Mattern (GER) while the bronze medals were won by Szymon Kural (POL) and Yuma Dorner (GER).

The 2022 Dynamic Billards European Championship Youth comprises 14 separate events across four disciplines – 8, 9 and 10 ball as well as straight pool – plus the male and female team competitions. In total there are three divisions; male U19, male U17 and female U19. In total, there are 111 competitors in attendance – 19 girls, 57 boys in the U17 division and 35 boys in the U19.

Play continues on Tuesday 2nd August with the 9 ball competitions.

All matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com as well as selected matches on the EPBF’s Facebook page.

Results, live scoring and draws are available at
www.epbf.com/tournaments/european-championships/

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