Surprising winners in European Youth 8-ball

Three more Gold Medals have been awarded at the Dynamic Billard European Championships Youth in the Alpina Sports & Wellness Hotel, St. Johann i.Pg, Austria. The 8-ball individuals are over and the titles were taken by Diana Khodjaeva (BEL), Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) and Pascal Bruckmann (GER) in their respective categories.
In the Under 19’s, Pascal Bruckmann was definitely the underdog. His opponent Maksim Dudanets (RUS) has already won the Gold Medal in straight pool and a Bronze Medal in 10-ball this week. But the match took a course as nobody would have expected it. Bruckmann had a furious start and after six racks, the scoreboard displayed a 5:1 lead for the German. Then Dudanets pulled one rack back, making the score 2:5. But Bruckmann was on fire. He played almost perfectly and won the next two racks as well, winning the match and the title with 7:2.
Top Eight 8-Ball Under 19’s
1. Pascal Bruckmann (GER)
2. Maksim Dudanets (RUS)
3. Oliver Szolnoki (HUN)
Krystian Cwikla (POL)
4. Raphael Wahl (GER)
Sergey Lutsker (RUS)
The final in the Under 17’s between Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Eklent Kaci (ALB) was the encounter of two players with excellent shotmaking talents and hard breaks. Both players showed strong and consisting performances throughout the week so far. No wonder the match was quite even from beginning to end. Being 5:4 up, Eklent Kaci had his own break shot and the chance to finish the match in his favor. But he scratched while trying to clear his group and allowed Pehlivanovic back to the table. The young player from Sarajevo committed several mistakes earlier but this time he cleared the table, turning the match into a hill-hill thriller at 5:5. With his own break coming up, Pehlivanovic had a good chance to win the match. And he made use of it. He broke, cleared the table and won the title 6:5 over Kaci.
Top Eight 8-Ball Under 17’s
1. Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH)
2. Eklent Kaci (ALB)
3. Daniel Maciol (POL)
Sajid Raheem (NOR)
4. Osman Sanlisoy (TNC)
Patrick Hofman (GER)
Kamil Szasor (POL)
In the girls division, Diana Khodajeva was the favorite player. She managed to eliminate Russian star player Kristina Tkach 5:3 in the semi-final. Her opponent Emily Heidergott (GER) was probably on no-one’s list for the final match in girl’s 8-ball. She lost in the first winner’s round to her teammate Jana Peters. With victories over Dina Fatihova (RUS) 5:2, Vilde-Mary Holme (NOR) 5:0 and Hannah Memic (BIH) 5:0, she came back to the semi-finals in the girls division where she was able to take revenge for her defeat, ousting Jana Peters with 5:1. The final match was exciting. Both players played at even strength. After 5 racks, Heidergott was 3:2 in the lead. Khodjaeva missed the 8-ball and gave Heidergott the chance to get a two point lead in the match and get on the hill. But Heidergott’s nerves played a trick on her. She missed the last ball of her group and Khodjaeva won that match to turn the score to 3:3. The next rack was run out by Khodjaeva and it put her on the h ill with 4:3. Rack eight turned out to be a struggle for both. One ball of each group were frozen to the side rail and the match turned into a tactical battle. However, Khodjaeva proved to be the more experienced player forcing Heidergott to commit a foul. With ball in hand, Khodjaeva pocketed the remaining balls and won the match and the title 5:3.
Top Six 8-Ball Girls
1. Diana Khodjaeva (BEL)
2. Emily Heidergott (GER)
3. Kristina Tkach (RUS)
Jana Peters (GER)
4. Hanna Memic (BIH)
Marharyta Fefilava (BLR)
Medal table after 3 of 5 events
1. Russia
2. Germany
3. Belgium
4. Ukraine
5. Bosnia & Hercegovina
6. Poland
7. Albania
8. Switzerland
9. Belarus
Earlier today, the first rounds of the 9-ball individuals have been played. An outstanding match took place between Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) and Jonas Souto (ESP). Both players are 13 year old but Pehlivanovic, being the defending Champion, has a lot more experience that Souto who is attending his first EC. That was also what made the difference in that match. Pehlivanovic did not play his A-game, but since Souto always missed easy shots due to lack of concentration and playing too fast, the match was leveled all the way through. The situation got to hill-hill. At 6:6, it was Souto’s break shot. The young lad from Spain had a ball down but only one more ball crossed the headstring. According to the rules, that is deemed to be an illegal break and the opponent gets to the table. That’s what Pehlivanovic did. He found an open table in front of him with no real problems. He focussed on the game and pocketed ball after ball, winning the rack and the match with a lucky 7:6 over So uto. „I know I did not play well in this match“, admitted Pehlivanovic after the match, but I will also play the semi-final in 8-ball this afternoon. I need to get better then though“, Pehlivanovic added.
The tournament will continue tomorrow at 09:00 local time with the team competition. In the afternoon, the 9-ball individuals will continue.
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More information about participants, schedules, achievements, rankings, etc can be found on the event website
The event will is hosted by the European Pocket Billiard Federation EPBF and organized by International Billiard Promotion Foundation IBPF.