Ulrika Andersson (SWE) and Jan Keller (DEN) have taken the 9-ball titles at the Dynamic Billard European Championships for Seniors and Ladies in Tirana, Albania.
It was Jan Keller’s first appearance in any European Championship final. Before this 9-ball competition here in Tirana, Keller was a blank sheet of paper. He had not achieved any medals or taken any victories on European level. Honestly, he was not even really heard of before this week. But that will change drastically after today. His opponent in the final, Manuel Pereira (POR) has already collected 4 Gold, 1 Silver and 4 Bronze Medals at European Championships. So the roles for the final were clearly defined. Keller was the underdog an Pereira served as the favorite. But the match followed its own rules. Keller played calmly and enjoyed his performance at the table while Pereira seemed to struggle with his game.
Keller was up 3:1 and 4:2 and he seemed to be able to gain a small advantage over Pereira. But the Portuguese tried his best and stayed in the match somehow. After seven racks, Keller was still leading but only with one rack 4:3. Then he let loose. Keller performed smoothly and it looked like it was smooth sailing for the „dark horse“ from Denmark. The man who came here as a blank sheet of paper suddenly dominated one of senior pool’s powerhouses to his likings. In the end. Keller took a well deserved 8:3 victory over Pereira and collected his first medal ever on European level.
„I have prepared very well for this event“, stated Keller afterwards, „I played pool every day, watch my food and did whatever I could to get in shape for this event.“ „I was so much looking forward to the European Championships“. „9-ball is my favorite game“ answered Keller when asked about his best game, „I love the tactics involved with it.“ „I was not nervous during my matches since I really had nothing to lose“, mentioned Keller, „if I had lost today to Azar or Correia or Pereira, I would have still played my best. However, today my best was good enough for all of them“.
2016年女子及元老組歐洲錦標賽於阿爾巴尼亞落下帷幕，在最終進行的9號球爭鋒中，剛剛於8球比賽中實現金牌零突破的瑞典女將Ulrika Andersson再度挫敗德國名將Susanne Wessel奪得金牌，成為本屆賽事最佳女球員的同時幫助瑞典隊鎖定了獎牌榜榜首的位置。而元老組金牌則由丹麥的大黑馬Jan Keller獲得，這既是他本人的突破也創造了丹麥隊近三年的賽事最好成績。
元老組角逐中，此前從未殺入歐錦賽任何一項賽事決賽的“黑馬” Keller連克Azar和Correia兩大攔路虎躋身決賽，向波蘭名將Manuel Pereira發起挑戰。實際上，Keller在本周之前可以說是默默無聞之輩，而Pereira則已經在本項賽事中斬獲了4枚金牌、1枚銀牌以及4枚銅牌。
“我為比賽準備得非常充分，” Keller賽後說到，“我每天都練球，做任何能夠讓我變得更有競爭力的事。我非常渴望冠軍。9球是我最喜歡的項目，我喜歡它的戰術。在比賽中我沒有焦慮因為我沒有什麽可輸的。就算今天輸給了Azar、Correia 或 Pereira，我還是會繼續努力。高興的是，我的努力得到了回報。”
Semi-final results – 四強賽果::
Manuel Pereira (POR) v Vegar Kristiansen (NOR) 8:7
Jan Keller (DEN) v Sanne Azar (SWE) 8:3
Top Eight Seniors 9-ball – 9號球 8強:
1. Jan Keller (DEN)
2. Manuel Pereira (POR)
3. Sanne Azar (SWE)
Vegar Kristiansen (NOR)
5. Tomi Ahonen (FIN)
Marinus Gennissen (NED)
Alex Habo (HUN)
Jim Telfer (NED)
In the ladies division, Ulrika Andersson played Susanne Wessel (GER). Both have already won one title each this week. Wessel took the 10-ball while Andersson grabbed the 8-ball title. The match could somehow be seen as the decider of who was the best lady player here this week. Just like in these Championships, Wessel had the better start. She got going first and was leading 3:1 after four racks. But Andersson struck back and took the next two racks, leveling the match at 3:3. Then, Wessel went for a time-out. She needed to clear her mind and got back to the table, ready for action. But Andersson had found her rhythm and did not allow Wessel back into the match. Whereas Wessel missed balls and positions, Andersson pocketed her shots or came up with good safety play. Playing on the 7-ball in rack seven, Andersson got a bit lucky. She missed the shot but left no position for Wessel.
The German went rail first and left a tough position for Andersson. Ulrike Andersson hit the 7-ball but could not make it. Then, Wessel attempted to pocket the 7-ball but she failed. This time Andersson took her chance and cleared the rack, making the score 4:3 in her favor. In rack eight, Andersson started with a push-out. Wessel pocketed an awesome shot and got position. But unfortunately for her, she scratched on her next shot. With ball in hand, Andersson cleared the table and won the match and the title with 5:3. „After a long time of absence my Swedish teammates convinced me to come to this event because they told me it is organized so well,“ said Andersson after the match. „I had no expectations in my own match but I know I love the game and I know I can play pool, added Andersson, „so I just went here and played the best I could.“ „It was like a rollercoaster ride at times but I played good when I needed to.“ „I did not expect to become the best player in the ladies division this year when I arrived here but now I am ready for defending my titles next times“ mentioned the likable Swede.
女子組方面，決賽再度在Andersson與Wessel之間展開。在此前進行的8球決賽中，Andersson 5-3 逆轉Wessel奪得其職業生涯首金，後者則在10球角逐中斬獲了一枚金牌，本次對決將決定誰是本屆賽事最佳女球員。
Semi-final results – 四強賽果:
Ulrika Andersson (SWE) v Tuuliina Panula (FIN) 5:0
Susanne Wessel (GER) v Karin Michl (GER) 5:4
Top Six Ladies 9-ball – 9號球 6強::
1. Ulrika Andersson (SWE)
2. Susanne Wessel (GER)
3. Karin Michl (GER)
Tuuliina Panula (FIN)
5. Patrizia Ignesti (ITA)
Cristina Moscetti (ITA)
Final Medal table after 5 of 5 events 獎牌榜:
That concludes the coverage from the Dynamic Billard European Championships for Seniors and Ladies in Tirana, Albania.
The event was hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website www.epconline.eu, visit us on Facebook or check out our youtube channel for regular news clips or contact our press office firstname.lastname@example.org.