WPA World 9-Ball Championships – Juniors & Wheelchair

Gold Reef City Casino & Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa


Upsets already when the two defending champions in the girls division and wheelchair division were defeated in their opening matches.

Wheelchair division:
Defending champion Henrik Larsson of Sweden lost 5/7 to Kurt Deklerck of Germany after an intense battle. These two have played many times and the contest is always close, so the win was certainly no surprise.

Three-time world champion Jouni Tähti of Finland started with a solid 7/4 win over Britain’s Matt Duffy. Another impressive start was Austria’s Emil Schranz winning 7/2 over Johnny Holland of the USA, and also Roy Kimberley of Great Britain, defeating South Africa’s Rian Janse van Rensburg 7/0

Girl’s division:
Defending champion Kamila Khodajeva of Belgium looked all set for an easy victory when she was cruising 5/1 ahead, but then the wheels fell off. Her opponent April Larson of the USA took full advantage of the sudden loss of form by the defending champ and rallied with an impressive comeback to win the next five racks and claim victory 6/5.

Another player who looked very strong and competent was Taiwanese player Zhi Ting Wu, winning her match 6/0.

Iranian player Elmira Karoubi kept her hopes alive when she won her match tonight 6/0 over Kira Koegelenberg of South Africa. Elmira lost her opening match this morning 2/6 against rising polish star, Kateryna Polovinchuk.

Japan, just like Taiwan, certainly knows how to produce outstanding junior players and Yuki Hiraguchi is no exception winning her first match 6/0 over Anika Malan of South Africa.

Boy’s Division:
Some impressive performances today with the boys, particularly by Ping Chung Ko of Taiwan with a number of break and run-outs. He was always in control of his match and won comfortably 8/1 over South African Rewan Kruger. Daniel Tångudd of Sweden also looked strong with an 8/2 win over Janiro Chatlein of Bonaire.

The match between USA’s Tyler Styer and Switzerland’s Daniel Schneider turned out to be a real nail biter. After Schneider had done all the hard work and on a run-out in the deciding rack, he came up a bit short with his positional play on the 8 ball making it difficult to get an easy shot at the 9 ball. He pocketed the 8 ball, but the cue ball found the side pocket which left Styer with ball in hand, and a simple shot on the winning 9-Ball.

In the evening matches from the loser’s side, all winners were impressive. Charles Gulmont of Canada defeated Joey Bourgeois Jr.of the USA 8/3, Alexnder Tapiquen of Venezuela proved too strong for South Africa’s Donovan Lipale 8/2, Mohammed Al-Ali of Qatar kept his hopes alive with a strong 8/3 win over South African Clinton Nair, and another nail biter to end the evening with Ignacio Block being victorious over Janiro Chatlein 8/7.

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