Albin is Ocean’s Apart – 9號球世錦賽落幕 Ouschan大勝Van Boening奪冠

2016 9-ball WC - Winner Albin Ouschan with Trophy 777x437

Austria’s Albin Ouschan wins the 2016 World 9-ball Championship with an emphatic 13-6 win over American Shane Van Boening.

By Ted LernerWPA Press Officer
Photos Courtesy of Vinod Divakaran/ Doha Stadium Plus

(Doha, Qatar)– Austria’s Albin Ouschan knew coming into today’s semi-finals and finals at the World 9-ball Championship that just about everything in his personal and professional pool playing life was going just about perfect. But even he couldn’t have imagined the dream day he just conjured up on the way to winning pool’s most prestigious prize.

After first blowing out Canada’s Alex Pagulayan in the semi-final, Ouschan came back to put an emphatic and somewhat shocking 13 – 6 drubbing on American Shane Van Boening to capture his first WPA World 9-ball championship in front of over 400 people at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha.

The victory was all the more sweet for the 25 year old Austrian because just two years ago, he placed second to the Netherland’s Niels Feijen in this very same arena. Ouschan took that loss hard, but true to his disciplined and hard working nature, he sucked up the pain of defeat and came back better for it. Over the last two years took his game to new heights, including winning the brutally tough China Open in 2015, a successful stint on the winning European Mosconi Cup team, and wins and high finishes in many European events. And he had a baby with his girlfriend and found a peace of mind that he had never known.

This week in Doha this combination of the professional and personal all came together to form an impenetrable force that would let nothing get in the way of success. Over the last six days Ouschan played exceptional and steady pool, and brushed off the inevitable mistakes. He executed every facet of the game to perfection. He stayed calm under pressure. And once he took a lead, he never, ever relinquished it, right up to the very last 9-ball that won him the world title.

For Van Boening, the rout in his second straight World 9-ball Championship final has to be one of the most bitter defeats of his illustrious career. Last year the American played brilliant pool throughout the event, only to stumble in the last half of the final and watch Taiwan’s Ko Pin Yi win the title.

This year Van Boening seemed to have taken his game to another level, outlasting every opponent with his glorious stroke and steely demeanor. It seemed he was destined to take it one step further this week. But instead, he fell completely flat in the final and put in a forgettable performance that never came close to the standard he has set for himself, and fans have come to expect from one of the game’s greats.

Nobody could have foreseen this happening to Van Boening as earlier in the day he put in another masterful performance, this against Taiwan’s Cheng Yushuan in the semi-final. That match followed a similar pattern to almost all of Van Boening’s matches during the week. The American and his opponent trade blows the first half of the match. Then in crunch time Van Boening turns the screws and puts the match away.

2016 9-ball WC - Final Shane Van Boening

Cheng, the current US Open champion, certainly represented a step up for the American and played great in taking Van Boening to the limit. But as usual SVB had that little extra and held off the Taiwanese in a tension filled match to win, 11-9.

Meanwhile on the TV table, Ouschan smothered Alex Pagulayan winning easily 11 -3. With the final set after a two hour break, everyone was sure they were about to witness an historic tilt. The runner-ups in this very event from the last two years were about to square off for 9-ball supremacy.

The final, however, proved to be nothing close to what was advertised. And looking back, it was what happened in the two hour gap between the semis and final that may have spelled the difference. Ouschan went back to the hotel to take a breather, grab some food and clear his head. Van Boening, on the other hand, barely took two minutes off, and headed straight to the practice table where he stayed until moments before the opening introductions of the final.

It took about 20 minutes into the race to 13 final to see that Van Boening didn’t bring the same sharpness into this match that he had brought into every match up to this point. He lacked energy while Ouschan was his usual steady and solid self. After splitting the long opening two racks, Van Boening committed several glaring tactical errors and soon found himself down 3-1. Ouschan then cleared off of a great jump shot to go up 4-1. Then Van Boening left the Austrian with an opening and it was soon 5-1.

The fact that the first six racks took over an hour certainly didn’t help the American as he literally hadn’t been off the pool table now for around five hours. Van Boening then flubbed a safety on the 1-ball and Ouschan cleaned the table again to move up 6-1. In the next rack the American missed an easy 4-ball and the steady and solid Ouschan cleared. The score was now 7-1 and everyone was wondering just where the great Shane Van Boening had gone.

Van Boening managed to stem the bleeding over the next few racks and moved the score to 8-4. But this was just the territory where Ouschan excels, with a lead and the winning line in sight. The pair traded break and runs and the score line was soon 10-5. After a poor attempt at a carom, Ouschan pushed it to 11-5. Shane would get one more but the Austrian never flinched as he reached the hill. Then with an emphatic break and run, Albin Ouschan was the new World 9-ball Champion.

As he drank in the accolades, took selfies with fans, and cradled his shiny new hardware, Ouschan reflected back not just on the match but on the sometimes difficult journey that had brought him to the mountain top. Years ago as an up and coming young player, he had lived in the shadow of his world champion older sister Jasmin, with whom he has always been close. Now he had completed the journey to being his own person and a world champion.

2016 9-ball WC - Winner Albin Ouschan

“It was unexpected that Shane would have so many problems today,” Ouschan said. “I don’t know if it was the pressure, or he didn’t feel fine but I took the early big lead and I just had it until the end.

“I always wanted to show people who I am. When I was younger I didn’t even have a name. People always said ‘you’re Jasmin’s brother.’ I think I left her shadow two years ago when I was runner up here.

“Two years ago when I lost to Niels, I was pretty depressed. I was crying at home. I had to swallow it, to get back into my game and to focus again. Then I won the China Open and I knew I was back and that I could win it (the world championship). And now I’m here and I’m so happy and proud of myself.”

A visibly tired and dejected Van Boening admitted he didn’t have the proper energy in the final. The American, however, put on a brave face and vowed to return.

“I think I ran out of gas,” Van Boening said. “I wasn’t really tired, I just made a couple of mistakes at the beginning and I just had a bad start. I just tried to fight my way back but I just didn’t seem to have it today. And then he got a big lead and then he started to break and run every rack and at that point there was not much I could do. Hopefully I can get a chance to make it to another final here and win this thing. But today just wasn’t my day.”

Indeed it was the day of Albin Ouschan, who made sure to take a moment to give a nod to the personal side of his life, an ingredient just as important to him as the endless hours spent practicing his pool skills.

“Before every match I look at my baby’s photos, and my girlfriend she writes me some nice things, telling me that they are always behind me. Over the last few years I’ve practiced a lot learning how to calm down in the heavy pressure situations like in the last rack.

“I always dreamed about this moment and now it’s here and I can’t really realize it. It probably takes a couple of days. It’s an awesome moment for me.”

2016 9-ball WC - Albin Ouschan winning moment

2016年男子9號球世界錦標賽於昨日在卡達落下帷幕,在最終進行的決賽上,奧地利好手Albin Ouschan  13-6大勝美國名將Shane Van Boening,勇奪桂冠,獨得40000美元冠軍獎金。連續兩屆世錦賽屈居亞軍的Van Boening則延續了自己從未奪得世界冠軍的魔咒。

在當天早些時候進行的兩場半決賽中,Van Boening 11-9力克近來上升勢頭兇猛的鄭喻軒挺進決賽。Ouschan則11-3輕鬆贏得與Pagulayan的老少爭奪,與Van Boening會師決賽。

決賽對雙方來講都意義非凡,Ouschan於2014年世錦賽決賽惜敗Niels Feijen,受挫的他曾一度低迷,而Van Boening作為美國頭號球星,卻從未奪得過世界冠軍,最近的一次是去年世錦賽,他眼睜睜地看著柯秉逸在他面前捧起冠軍獎盃,所以這一次二人都想更進一步。儘管決賽意義非凡,但兩人的賽前準備截然不同,Ouschan在半決賽結束以後,立即返回酒店沐浴,然後吃了點東西,快要開賽時才重返賽場,而Van Boening則僅僅離開賽場兩分鐘,便直接到練習區域練球,直到決賽開賽。

決賽開始後,體力明顯下降的範伯寧不再鋒利,而Ouschan則保持著沈著和冷靜。在經過前兩局的僵持後,Van Boening的失誤慢慢增加,比分也很快來到了7-1,Ouschan領先。不甘失敗的範伯寧在此後幾局頑強的將比分縮小為8-4,但或許這僅僅是Ouschan大比分領先時的鬆懈造成的。Ouschan再度集中精力後,沒有再給SVB更多機會,最終就以13-6的懸殊比分大勝對手,強勢奪得首個世界冠軍的同時獨攬40000美元獎金。

“難以想象Van Boening會有這麽多失誤,” Ouschan說,“我不知道是不是因為壓力太大,或者是他身體不適,我在早期建立了巨大優勢並保持到了最後。”



再度居亞的Van Boening則說:“我感覺用光了所有力氣。我不是真的疲憊,只是在開局階段發生了太多失誤。我竭盡全力去找回自己的節奏,但是今天沒有做到。他很快就取得了巨大領先優勢,開始贏得每局比賽,我什麽也做不了。希望我還有機會打進決賽,然後贏下比賽。”

去年剛升格人父的Feijen顯得十分激動,他補充說:“每次比賽前我都會看看孩子的照片,女友也會發一些很美好的東西,以此來告訴我他們一直在我身後。過去幾年我大量訓練怎樣在重壓下保持冷靜。我總是在想象這一天,但直到現在我都不能真正的接受它真的來了。或許這會持續一些日子,對我來說這是一個非常美妙的時刻。”  (master)


Albin Ouschan (AUT) 11 – 4 Alex Pagulayan (CAN)
Shane Van Boening (USA) 11 – 9 Cheng Yu Hsuan 鄭喻軒 (TPE)

Albin Ouschan (AUT) 13 – 6 Shane Van Boening (USA)

**The 2015 WPA World 9-ball Championship took place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from July 30-August 4, 2016. The winner of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship received $40,000. The runner received $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.

The players competed on Wiraka DYNASTY Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.

The 2016 World 9-ball Championship was hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and was sanctioned by the The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.

Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;

The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa