The 2018 World Cup of Pool got underway this afternoon at the Luwan Arena, Huangpu District in Shanghai, as the event moved to China for the first time in its illustrious history. The defending champions were the Austrian pair of Albin Ouschan and Mario He who had defeated the USA in London 12 months ago and they opened proceedings with a first round match against Chile.
The $250,000 tournament originated in 2006 and has since moved around the world before touching down in Shanghai. The World Cup features 32 pairs from around the globe including two from host nation China. Running from 15th to 20th May, the event is live in over 100 countries around the world.
The Chilean pair of Enrique Rojas and Alejandro Carvajal who travelled the longest and furthest to reach the event moved into a 3-0 lead against the No.1 seeds. Austria though, steadied the ship and while they didn’t look their best rallied to get back into the game and eventually ran out comfortable winners.
Poland, runners-up in this event in 2012, featured the pairing of experienced Mateusz Sniegocki and 17 year-old wonderkid Wiktor Zielinski. They came through their match against Kuwaiti pair of Mohammad Sale and Bader Al Awadhi but not before the Middle Easterners had given them plenty to think about.
Commented Sniegocki, “We are glad with the victory but we should play a little bit better, so I hope in the next match we will show our better skills. Wiktor is one of the best young players in Europe so I feel I have great back up in him.”
Zielinski said, “It is good to win. This is my first big event, organised by Matchroom Sport, I have never played in a tournament like this before. I felt pressure in the beginning but after three frames I felt more comfortable and played better but I still made too many mistakes.”
In the final match of the session, two-time World Cup of Pool runners-up Holland, made it through to the second round at the expense of Thailand who battled hard but were undone by an unlucky scratch with the scores poised at 6-5. The Dutch were lead by the redoubtable Niels Feijen and he was joined by Marc Bijsterbosch making his debut in the event.
開幕戰由Albin Ouschan及Mario He組成的衛冕冠軍奧地利隊對上智利隊，智利隊由Enrique Rojas和Alejandro Carvajal代表出賽，他們也是所有參賽隊伍中旅程時間最長也最遠的。智利隊一開賽取得3-0領先，奧地利隊隨後回穩，最終以7-3拿下勝利晉級下一輪。
第二場比賽由波蘭碰上科威特，波蘭曾在2012獲得亞軍，今年則由經驗豐富的名將Mateusz Sniegocki搭檔年僅17歲的潛力新秀Wiktor Zielinski。Mohammad Sale與Bader Al Awadhi並未能給波蘭隊帶來太大的威脅，波蘭隊終場就以7-4擊敗科威特隊。
午間時段的最後一場比賽則由拿下過兩次世界盃雙打賽亞軍的荷蘭隊面對到了泰國隊。泰國隊在比賽中的帶給了荷蘭隊不小壓力，在比賽接近尾聲時運氣欠佳，一記洗袋讓荷蘭隊取得了6-5聽牌。最終荷蘭隊在Niels Feijen的帶領之下，攜手隊友Marc Bijsterbosch挺進最後16強。
Austria 奧地利 7 – 3 Chile 智利
Poland 波蘭 7 – 4 Kuwait 科威特
Holland 荷蘭 7 – 5 Thailand 泰國
Play continues on Thursday evening with three more first round matches.
Canada 加拿大 (9) v Scotland 蘇格蘭
Germany 德國 (5) v Indonesia 印尼
China B 中國 B (12) v South Africa 南非
2018 World Cup of Pool sponsored by Iwan Simonis who supply the Official Cloth; the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc, and Predator is the Official Cue of the event.