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Zalewska, Tahti & Neuhausen Take Final EC Golds

Oliwia Zalewska

Poland’s Oliwia Zalewska won her third Dynamic Billard European Championships gold medal, this time in the Women’s 9-Ball, as she enjoyed a surprisingly easy win over Slovenian hope Ana Gradisnik, running out a 7-0 winner. The Polish girl had won the 8-ball title in Antalya last year.

Having not really showed in the other disciplines, Zalewska saved her best till last. She lost her first match in the 9-ball division but battled her way through the one-loss side to reach the single elimination last 16. Wins over Silvia Lopez Fibla (Spain) and Sweden’s My Nguyen left her a semi-final pairing against Spain’s dangerous Amalia Matas. A 7-0 win put her into the championship match which she cruised through for the gold.

“During the final, I wasn’t thinking about winning the title; I’m thinking about the game and my level of playing. Of course, I love this feeling of winning and yes, the whole of the time spent practising and the emotions that go into it are all a big part of this victory,” said Zalewska.

The gold medallist is the mother of an 18-month-old child and added, “I’m sorry my baby can’t be here with me and my husband but it would be too long to spend away from home so we will all enjoy this title when we get home.”

WOMEN’S

Final
Oliwia Zalewska (POL) 7 – 0 Ana Gradisnik (SLO)

Semi Finals
Oliwia Zalewska (POL) 7 – 0 Amalia Matas (ESP)
Ana Gradisnik (SLO) 7 – 4 Sara Rocha (POR)

WHEELCHAIR

Jouni Tahti

In the wheelchair division Jouni Tahti made it an unbelievable 28th Dynamic Billard European Championship gold medal as he came from behind to outpace Ireland’s Fred Dinsmore, winning 7 – 6 in a battle royale. The Finn collected his first ever EC gold in 2002 and 20 years later, he is still the wheelchair games dominant force.

Dinsmore, who had already won bronze and silver in the 10-ball and 8-ball respectively, looked on his way to a gold medal, holding a 6-3 lead but Tahti, showed why he is a serial gold medallist as he dug in and pipped the Irishman at the post.

Commented Tahti, “When I was 6-3 down, I didn’t give up as there is always hope and I knew I could turn it around. To win gold medals you often need to overcome very tough situations and I’m pleased I had what it took to achieve that. I’m really looking forward to defending my title in Tampere next year and I’ll be going all out for three gold medals in my home country.”

Final
Jouni Tahti (FIN) 7 – 6 Fred Dinsmore (IRE)

Semi Finals
Jouni Tahti (FIN) 7 – 5 David Beaumont (GBR)
Fred Dinsmore (IRE) 7 – 5 Henrik Larsson (SWE)

UNDER 23

Moritz Neuhausen

Moritz Neuhausen, the 2019 Under 17’s and 2021 Under19’s WPA World 9 Ball Champion, added another trophy to his cabinet as he won an all-German final 9-7 to take 9-ball gold at the Dynamic Billard European Championships. His opponent Luca Menn gave him a tough battle but it was Neuhausen who prevailed to add to his credentials as a potential new German superstar of the game.

Neuhausen, 21, had survived a gripping hill-hill thriller in his semi-final match against another star of the future in Norway’s Emil Andre Gangflot. There is an overflow of top young talent in Europe currently and Neuhausen may just be the pick of the bunch.

“That’s my first title in the Under 23 division. I had two titles previously, one in teams so I’m really happy with this win. I’ve won some big titles in my age group and hopefully I can take that forward into open tournaments but there’s a lot of space for improvement and I’ll keep working hard,” said Neuhausen.

Final
Moritz Neuhausen (GER) 9 – 7 Luca Menn (GER)

Semi Finals
Luca Menn (GER) 9 – 3 Haris Trtovac (SRB)
Moritz Neuhausen (GER) 9 – 8 Emil Andre Gangflot (NOR)

The 2022 Dynamic Billards European Championship sees 15 separate events across four disciplines – 8, 9 and 10 ball as well as straight pool – plus the men’s and women’s team competitions. In total there are four divisions; men, women, under 23 men and wheelchair users.

All matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com

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

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“Game On” in Austria

The first matches of the Dynamic Billard Euro-Tour have started after an absence of almost 16 months. The players were eager to finally measure their skills against each other again.

Wojciech Szewczyk (POL)

At first glance, the tournament started like many others in previous years. Only if you looked closely, you could notice a few small but subtle changes that became necessary due to the current pandemic situation. For example, after each match, the balls were collected and replaced by freshly disinfected ball sets. The hygiene concept also included that each player could only take one coach or relative with him into the venue. The general number of spectators was limited to 50. At the tables themselves, the players did not have to wear masks, but as soon as they took a time- out or moved inside the hall to or from their table, the mask had to be worn. In this way, the organisers helped to ensure that everyone was as safe as possible.
But let’s get to the matches.

It is always difficult to talk about surprises in the first round. Many of the participants are players who either come from the region or cannot necessarily be counted among the top. Therefore, the focus is directly on the matches of the first winners’ round. One of the first exciting encounters was the match between Wojciech Szewczyk (POL) and Mark Magi (EST). Both players have been active on the Euro Tour for several years and come from the youth work of the EPBF. At the beginning of the match it was also an exciting exchange of blows. However, Szewczyk found his rhythm faster and played better safeties than Magi. Thus he managed to gain a small lead which he did not give away until the end of the match. 9:5 was the final score in favour of the Pole.

Thorsten Hohmann

Former World Champion Thorsten Hohmann (GER) had to face his compatriot Luca Menn. Hohmann was considered the heavy favourite in this match. But as always, the young guns should not be underestimated.This was also the case in this match. Menn gave Hohmann a run for his money and turned the match into an open exchange of blows, which culminated at 8:8. Here, however, Menn found his master when Hohmann played out all his routine and showed no nerves. With a very close 9:8, Hohmann defeated Menn and moved on to the next winners’ round, while Menn will have to seek his fortune in the losers’ round after a hard struggle.

Another all-German match involving a former World Champion took place on table 5 between Ralf Souquet and Valery Kuloyants. Souquet, 9-Ball World Champion 1996, had problems to find his game. His opponent was certainly considered an outsider, even though Kuloyants has been a well- known name in the German pool scene for many years. Souquet was not going to have an easy game at all and Kuloyants dominated the match from the beginning.He gained a 3-point lead, which he maintained until 8:5. He was always one step ahead of Souquet, but the “Kaiser” did not dream of surrendering so easily to his fate. Knowing him, Souquet fought to the last drop of blood.He was always one step ahead of Souquet, but the ” Kaiser ” did not dream of surrendering so easily to his fate. Knowing him as he does, Souquet fought to the last drop of blood.It came as it had to come: with sharp claws Souquet kept himself in the match and forced the decision at 8:8. Kuloyants had the break and pocketed a ball, but afterwards had no position on the 1 ball. It was time for a good safety. He opted for a chance, which Souquet gave back to him.

Valery Kuloyants (GER)

Then the drama occurred for Kuloyants: he tried to play a safety shot and scratched with the cue ball into the side pocket. With ball-in-hand Souquet cleared the rack and finally won the game 9:8 after a fierce fight.

Tomorrow’s matches will begin at 09:00 CET with action from the loser’s round. All matches can be viewed LIVE with a premium pass at www.kozoom.com.