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Day One Complete At Petrich Open

Oliver Szolnoki

The first day is complete at the Dynamic Billard Petrich Open in Bulgaria as 157 players set forth on their quest for the fourth Euro Tour title of the year. With just the semi-finals and final taking place on the final day, Monday, there are a lot of matches to get through and it certainly pays to stay on the winners’ side of the draw.

Big name players still standing with no defeats to their names include Joshua Filler, Niels Feijen, Alexander Kazakis, Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, Wiktor Zielinski, Mario He, Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Dennis Grabe.

One young player who won three from three today was the Netherland’s 17-year-old Yannick Pongers. The Dutchman has already enjoyed a
wonderful stay in Petrich having won two golds – 8-ball and 9-ball – at the recently completed European Pool Championships for Youth, and he started where he left off with three wins from three including a victory over Klenti Kaci which wasn’t without some controversy.

Commented Yannick, “It was a very good day for me. In fact, it was the first Euro Tour event where I’ve won three matches in a row and I beat Kaci which was a tough match. At 5-5 he missed a 9 ball then when he started racking, he smashed the 1 ball on the table, so the referee gave me an extra rack for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

“Then he gave up basically, unscrewed his cue and left the venue. My goal here is last 32 at least, I guess. We’ll see if I make it but I’m already happy with what I did but let’s see how far I go,” he added.

Another young player to stay on the winners’ side was Hungary’s Oliver Szolnoki who finally made it through after a nerve-wracking contest against Germany’s come-backing Lars Kuckherm. Szolnoki lead 7-2 with the win looking a formality, but Kuckherm plugged away as his play improved and he dragged it back to 7-7 before the Hungarian finished the match off at the death.

“I went up 7-2 and my break was working perfect and then I don’t know how, I missed an easy shot and then the match totally turned,” said a relieved Szolnoki.

“Every time he missed, I didn’t get a shot after that but he played well also and took his chances. I thought if I could just make a couple of break and runs, I would win the match but it didn’t work and somehow it was 7-7. In the end, I’m glad I’m through and survived this match.

“I saw some good signs – up to 7-2 I played very well, I think. Also, at 7-7 I managed to clear two tables under pressure so that was a positive but I’ll need to improve tomorrow,” he added.

Players reconvene tomorrow morning at 9am local time where the winners’ side have one more match to reach the last 32 single elimination knockout, while players on the one-loss side have a maximum of four games to reach the knock-out stage.

Play continues down to the final four on Sunday evening with the semi-finals and then the final commencing at 17.00 on Monday.

As well as the prize money, there are Tour ranking points on offer as well as world ranking points, so there is everything to play for. All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com as well as selected
matches on Facebook Live on the EPBF page. In addition, the semi-finals
and final, played out on Monday night, will be live or highlights on the
following television stations across Europe;

SportKlub HD – Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia,
Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece
Eyecons – Netherlands
SportKlub – Poland
ORF – Austria
B1B Box – Bulgaria

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

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Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships Youth – Final Medal Table

Jolien Schuurman and Yannick Pongers

After eight days of glorious pool and hundreds of exciting matches, the Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships concluded with the destination of the 56 medals determined. Top of the medal table were the Netherlands with five gold medals out of a total of seven. The dynamic duo of Yannick Pongers and Jolien Schuurman won two each (both 8 and 9 ball) and Mika Van Berkel made it five as the Dutch team swept gold in the 8-ball division.

In second place was Germany who took four golds as well as two silvers and six bronze medals. Felix Vogel (17 10 ball), Yuma Dorner (U19 straight pool), Dennis Laszkowski (U19 10 ball) and U19 Team were where the gold medals went.

Finally, Poland took third spot with a total of ten medals, with three of those being gold. Their successful athletes were Dominika Pawelczyk (Girls’ 10 ball) as well as two team golds in the Girls’ and U17 divisions.

In total, 15 countries from the 28 in attendance achieved one medal or more.

Gold Silver Bronze Total
Netherlands 5 1 1 7
Germany 4 2 6 12
Poland 3 2 5 10
Estonia 1 x 1 2
Serbia 1 x x 1
Finland x 4 2 6
Austria x 3 1 4
Northern Cyprus x 1 2 3
Switzerland x 1 1 2
Slovakia x x 3 3
Ukraine x x 2 2
Croatia x x 1 1
Italy x x 1 1
Slovenia x x 1 1
Sweden x x 1 1

Results from the 14 separate events at the Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships Youth are available at
www.epbf.com/tournaments/european-championships/

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Double Gold For Top Class Pongers

Yannick Pongers

Yannick Pongers is a double gold medal winner as he triumphed in the U19 9 ball division, beating Germany’s Yuma Dorner by 8-5 at the Petrich Arena in southern Bulgaria. The 17-year-old Dutchman from Veldhoven had earlier triumphed in the 8 ball final and his national squad is now five gold medals to the good at the Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships for Youth.

Pongers, who looks a threat to anyone he plays, was stunned by his own success in Petrich, “It feels just so awesome. When I came here, I just thought ‘get on the podium’ and I still can’t imagine how I did it – two golds is insane for me!

“When he came back at me, I thought how did that happen? I’ve practiced mentally a lot so I kept focused and stayed calm and it just worked. I don’t know how I did it – a few lucky rolls, I guess. I had a quick rack where it was over in ten seconds and after that I felt more in control.”

Pongers got the final underway with a tidy runout before Dorner lost the table playing a 4/8 combination and his opponent cleared for a 2-0 lead. The Dutchman ran out from the break in the third as he got off to the best possible start and with the momentum of a runaway train, Pongers secured the next rack leaving Dorner reeling on the side-lines at 4-0 down.

Dorner, who won the straight pool title here as well as a bronze in the 8 ball division, finally got off the mark in the fifth game but had it all to do to get the match on an even keel. In the fifth game, the German player ran out of position with just the 8 and 9 remaining but a neat snooker forced Pongers into the jump. He contacted the 8 and it fell perfectly for Dorner, who got the score back to 4-2.

The momentum was swinging in Dorner’s direction as he closed out the next rack after a dry break from Pongers. Dorner took the next to level the match as his comeback continued but a combination on the 9 ball straight after the break, restored a one-rack lead for Pongers at 5-4.

That became 6-4 as Pongers’ fortuitous 2 /9 combo after a table length jump shot was a real blow to Dorner as the Dutchman moved into a 6-4 lead. Some more good play saw Pongers whizz through the next rack to put himself on the hill at 7-4. The German wasn’t quite finished as a lucky multi-ball carom on the 9 gave him the rack.

Looking to play safe, Pongers nearly undid his good work as he tucked the cue ball tight behind the 8 and sent the red 2 up table. The ball hung in the jaws and Dorner fouled with his escape attempt. With ball-in-hand, the title was Pongers for the taking and he duly obliged to bring home his second gold medal of the tournament.

Pongers, who spoke to his family after his 8 ball triumph said, “They were very proud of me, it was just awesome. They’ve always been there for me, driving me to every tournament, they’re just so great.

“I’m going to finish school and then give pool a go for one or two years and see what happens but I definitely want to go on with pool,” he added.

Bronze medals went to the two beaten semi-finalists; Szymon Kural (POL), his second of the championships and to Dennis Laszkowski (GER) who added to his 10 ball gold.

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.

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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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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Laszkowski Is Under 19 European 10 Ball King

Dennis Laszkowski (Germany)

Germany’s Dennis Laszkowski took the U19 gold medal at the Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships for Youth following a dominating 7–2 victory over Switzerland’s Silvan Starkermann in the championship match. It was Germany’s third gold medal of the championships and the outcome was never really in doubt from the opening rack.

“It’s amazing but I don’t have any words!” said a delighted Dennis after the match.

“Travelling to Bulgaria, I thought I could win a gold medal but I said to myself to have fun, play good and we’ll see what I can achieve,” he added.

Starkermann, who had come through a draining 7-6 semi-final win over Poland’s Wiktor Fortunski, won the lag but missed a long pot on the 1 ball to lose initiative. Both players had visits as the rack became a little scrappy before Laszkowski had a good look at the table and completed the run out for the early lead. He then increased that with a confident clearance from the break.

Starkermann, though, came with his own break and run in the next to keep the deficit at one rack but Laszkowski restored his two-rack lead as he won with the break in the next. The German took the fifth to lead 4-1 and leave Starkermann facing an uphill task. A scratch from Laszkowski on the break gave the Swiss a much-needed opportunity.

He missed the 5 ball though but it ran safe for him and he was soon back to the table to execute a good long pot on the orange 5. From there he cleared to reduce the deficit to 4-2. However, it was to be his last contribution to the scoreboard. A great break from the Swiss boy gave him a good opportunity, but he squandered it as he missed the 3 ball. Laszkowski took the chance as he hit the cue ball with some authority as he dished up for a 5-2 lead.

A dry break from the German got his opponent back at the table and he executed a decent safety to give himself some breathing space. They both had visits but ultimately, it was Laszkowski who took the rack to put one hand on the trophy as he reached the hill. Laszkowski got an opportunity in the ninth game to claim the gold medal and he held himself together, potting with the same confidence he had shown all match, to clear the table for the victory.

“At the start of the tournament I didn’t feel that confident because I lost in a very tough match against Yannick Pongers but after my last 16 match, where I was trailing 6-2 and I came back and won, that gave me a real confidence boost and I continued playing like that and I felt more confident after every match,” said Laszkowski.

There were bronze medals for Kristian Mrva (SVK), his second of the championships, and Wiktor Fortunski (POL).

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 Sunday 31st July with a continuation of the 8 ball events.

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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Opening Medals Decided in European Youth Straight Pool Championship

Lazar Kostic (Serbia)

The opening two events concluded on Thursday afternoon at the 41st annual Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships for Youth and it was Germany and Serbia who claimed the first two gold medals. Taking place in the southern Bulgarian town of Petrich, the initial two days of play saw the destination of the Under 17s and Under 19s straight pool medals.

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.

In the Under 17 competition, there were 44 competitors representing 19 countries and it was Serbia’s Lazar Kostic who claimed gold as he defeated Michal Wiech (Poland) 75-20 in the championship match. Lazar played a full set of disciplines in the 2021 Europeans, finishing no better than the round of 16, but a year down the line he was absolutely ready for the challenge.

A win over Norway’s Didrik Voga Berg put him into the Winners’ Qualification round but a defeat there against Sweden’s Walter Laikre (75-50) scuppered Kostic’s hopes of a smooth run. He bounced back well, though, beating Norway’s Robin Hauge Pettersen to reach the single elimination last 16 stages.

Wins over Jokubas Silantjevas (LIT) and Finland’s highly-rated Riku Romppanen guaranteed at least a bronze medal but a semi-final win over Mykola Moroz (Ukraine) set up the title-winning match against Michal Wiech. It was a highly commendable run of performances from the Polish boy though, playing in his first ever European Championships at the age of 14, and his silver medal winning effort surely must indicate that there is gold in his future. Bronze medals went to the aforementioned Moroz as well as Davide Sini of Italy.

Yuma Dorner (Germany)

Germany’s Yuma Dorner was triumphant in the Under 19 event as he edged out Netherland’s Yannick Pongers for the gold medal. Both players entered the final with plenty of European Championship form on their respective resumés. In 2021, 18-year-old Dorner took a silver in the 8 ball bracket whilst Pongers (17) took gold and silver in 9 ball and 10 ball respectively, that time in the U17 division.

Dorner ran undefeated as far as the Winners’ Qualification round before unravelling against Poland’s Wiktor Fortunski by 73-100. A comfortable win against Luca Montanari (Italy) eased him into the knock-out stages and a victory over Poland’s Szymon Kural guaranteed a podium finish. The young German saved his best win for the semi-final as he got the better of compatriot Eric Mattern by 100-28 to set up the gold medal match against Pongers.

Despite being the junior of the two, Pongers carried plenty of experience into the final, having played in all four divisions at the Men’s European Championship earlier in the year as well as several Euro Tour events including a superb 5th place finish at the Antalya Open in 2021.

Pongers enjoyed a dominating run to the final. Undefeated he won his four matches to 84, 6, 37 and 24 before beating Slovakia’s Kristian Mrva 100-18 in the semi-final. On that form he looked to be a solid favourite to take the title but Dorner had something to say about that as he came through by 100-75 for a wonderful victory.

Bronze medals went to Eric Mattern (GER) and Kristian Mrva (SLO).

Play continues today (Thursday) in the 10 ball events with all three categories playing to a finish on Saturday evening.

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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