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Jaspers Dazzles on his Way to World Games Gold

Dick Jaspers

Dick Jaspers of the Netherlands has had a long and storied career in the billiards disciple of carom three-cushion, having won the World and European Three-cushion Championships as well as the Three-Cushion World Cup five times.

The only event where the 56-year-old had not secured as much hardware was at the World Games, having earned two silvers and a gold in six attempts but having not earned anything since the 2009 games in Taiwan.

The Dutchman ended his drought in spectacular fashion Sunday morning at this year’s iteration of the World Games in Birmingham, overcoming an early deficit against Colombia’s Jose Juan Garcia with multiple long scoring breaks and putting away his opponent, 40-19 in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

“This is maybe the highest medal you can win because these are the Olympics for us,” said Jaspers after the match. “So, I think it makes my career perfect. I had won a lot in my life and this makes it really extra special.”

Jasper faced an opponent in Garcia who was playing with nothing to lose, having already guaranteed that Colombia – a country more known for its coffee than its carom – would be taking home a medal by reaching the championship. Garcia was one of two Colombian players who exhibited inspiring play throughout the week, with fellow countryman Pedro Gonzalez also reaching the semifinals and losing to Garcia yesterday.

The Colombian came out firing to open the match, connecting on seven straight points to build an early lead.

“I’m facing the number one in the world,” said Garcia. “I know he’s a the best so before my match, I knew I had to try my best.”

“He’s a rising star and he started well with seven so he was immediately he was in the game,” said Jaspers “So, I have to play my own style, my own game, and I think my concentration is also strong side of me. Maybe it could help.”

Jaspers picked away at the deficit early, using a three and two-point break to narrow the lead to 7-6, then overtook his opponent with a five-point break to build a 12-7 advantage. After Garcia put up a four-pointer of his own to draw within 12-11, the Dutchman closed out the first half of play with a nine-point break to increase his lead to 21-11. After Garcia opened the second half with a point to cut the lead to nine, Jaspers went on an eight-point break then tacked on three more points in the next inning to push his lead to 32-13. He all-but clinched the match in the ninth inning when he tacked on a six-point break to push the lead to a nearly insurmountable 39-14.

Meanwhile, Garcia struggled to put up points after his opening inning barrage, accumulating just three in the four three innings after the intermission compared to Jasper’s 18.

“I tried my best in the middle and the end of the match but the ball didn’t hold me for the second or third points,” said Garcia. “He was too good to do something against.”

When Jaspers struck his final three-rail shot and saw that the cue ball was about to connect for the game-winner, he raised his hands in triumph before the balls even touched each other. The celebration was in relief as well as celebration.

“I’m also happy it’s over,” he said tongue-in-cheek. “I need a break. I need a holiday now because we play so many events. But it’s fantastic to go back to my country with a gold medal and it’s my second medal.”

The Dutchman was stellar all week, opening competition Tuesday morning with a high break of 16 as he defeated Pedro Piedrabuena of the United States 40-11 in the opening round-of-16, then eliminating Sweden’s Torbjorn Blomdahl 40-20 to advance to the semifinals. Jaspers then used an 11-point break to take a commanding leading against Belgium’s Eddy Merckx to advance to the finals.

The match schedule and results are at

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Merckx Is Carom Bronze Medal Winner

Eddy Merckx

Five-time Three-Cushion World Cup champion Dick Jaspers of the Netherlands used a nine-point break in the first half of his semifinal match against Eddy Merckx of Belgium to jump out to a 23-8 advantage at the break and sail to a 40-13 victory Saturday morning.

Jaspers opened play with an 11-point break, then added breaks of five and six points to build a 23-8 advantage at the intermission.

“It was indeed a good start,” said Jaspers. “Normally, my start is not that good. My finish is normally better than my start. That was for me a happy thing.”

Merckx opened the second half with a five-point break of his own to cut the deficit to 25-13 but could not get closer, as Jaspers executed a seven-point break to push his lead to a commanding 36-13.

The victory guaranteed Jaspers first medal at the World Games since 2009, having competed in the previous three versions of the games and failing to finish in the tip three.

Jaspers will meet Jose Juan Garcia, who used a long break to establish a big lead on opponent and fellow countryman Pedro Gonzalez then held off a potential comeback with another extended break to close out the match, 40-23.

Garcia jumped out to an early 16-1 advantage then used a nine-point break take a 25-1 lead into the intermission. From there, however, the Colombian struggled to put together any momentum, as Gonzalez chipped away at the lead, using a five-point run to cut the lead to 33-16, then tacking on a couple more to trim the deficit to 33-19. Garcia would ultimately find his gear, scoring six straight to push his advantage back to 39-19 and closing out the match.

“I accumulated a lot of points in the first half and it was a lot of defensive shots in the second half,” said Garcia.

In the bronze medal match later in the day, Merckx jumped out to a 21-12 advantage at the break and then used a couple of late breaks to coast to a 40-24 victory.

With the win, Merckx earns his first World Games medal since a silver medal in 2013.

“It’s very nice, of course, to earn a medal for that,” said Merckx. “That’s why we come here and that’s why we make the trip.”

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at The match schedule, results, and live scores are at

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Garcia & Gonzalez Setup All-Colombian Semi-Final

Jose Juan Garcia

Jose Juan Garcia 40, Tran Quyet Chieh 26

The improvement in the quality of play in cue sports in South America has been noticeable in recent years.

This spring, Peru’s Christopher Tevez and advanced all the way to the finals of the Predator World 10-Ball championship and fellow countryman Gerson Martinez Bosa as well as Argentina’s Ariel Casto have been known in recent years to take down a major champion from time to time.

Now, the continent has another bullet point on its expanding resume, with Colombia’s Jose Juan Garcia and Pedro Gonzalez advancing to the semifinals of the carom three-cushion competition of the World Games in Birmingham. Playing in his first World Games, Garcia used a workmanlike consistency to collect points against Vietnam’s Tran Quyet Chieh, who is ranked number three in the world. The two previously met in Los Angeles a couple of months earlier with Chieh emerging victorious.

“It gave me motivation, not for revenge to pass the last final and give me the concentration and power to finish the match,” said Garcia.

Garcia only amassed one break of five straight points through the match but was consistently able to rack up two-or-three points at a clip as his opponent usually couldn’t score much more than a single point in an inning.

“I’m really happy,” he said. “This is very special for me.”

Pedro Gonzalez 40, Kouji Funaki 24

Pedro Gonzalez implemented a similar style as his countryman on his way to a 40-24 victory over Japan’s Kouji Funaki in the quarterfinals of the World Games carom three-cushion tournament Friday evening.

Much like Garcia, Gonzalez was unable to go on a long break in order to rack up points, instead tacking on two-or-three at a clip while building a 10-point shortly after the halfway intermission. Trailing 28-15, Funaki would use a three-point and two-point break to cut the lead to 29-20 but that was as close as he would get, with Gonzalez using a three-point and four-point run to increase his lead to 38-20 and continue to apply pressure to Funaki, who defeated Marco Zanetti in the opening round of play.

Funaki would tack on two straight points to cut the lead to 39-22, but was unable to cut into the lead any further, as Gonzalez ended the match in the next frame with a single point.

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at The match schedule, results, and live scores are at

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Garcia defeats Tasdemir at The World Games

Jose Juan Garcia

Tran Quyet Chien 40, Javier Teran 19

Ecuador’s Javier Teran jumped out to an early lead thanks to a 10 break early in his match with Vietnam’s Tran Quyet Chien, but a missed chance at extending the break further allowed his opponent to the table, missing the object ball by a hair.

“I missed it by nothing and I left the game open so he could get into it really fast,” said Teran.

Chien did exactly that, using four breaks of five-or-more points to cruise to victory in his opening round match of three-cushion competition.

Chien executed a six-point break to cut his deficit to 10-9, connected on another six-pointer to tie the match 16-16 then took the lead with an eight-point break which gave him a 24-16 advantage. He then put the match out of reach with a 13-point break which increased his lead to a commanding 37-17. Meanwhile, Teran struggled to connect on many points in the second half of the match.

“I started to really struggle and he started to get confidence and make more and more balls,” said Teran.

Jose Juan Garcia 40, Tayfun Tasdemir 35

Colombia’s Jose Juan Garcia and Turkey’s Tayfun Tasdemir staged a nip-and-tuck, back-and-forth match in their opening round-of-16 match Thursday afternoon in which neither player could gain any kind of momentum as both struggled to score points. After Tasdemir used a four-break and a three-break to build a 10-5 advantage, his opponent came back with runs of four, three and five points to build a 21-15 lead at intermission.

The second half continued in much the same fashion, as the two competitors traded points and the lead down the stretch. After Garcia built a 29-22 lead, Tasdemir used a 10-break to snag a 32-29 lead, only to watch his opponent run off four straight to regain the lead, 33-32. The player from Turkey ticked off three consecutive points to snatch the lead again but Garcia followed by putting up a four-break to establish a 37-35 advantage.

Tasdemir mounted one last attempt at regaining the lead but watched as the cue ball double-kissed a moving ball and took the carom out of play.

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at The match schedule, results, and live scores are at

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama. 

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