The first 16 teams to participate in the 2019 World Cup of Pool have been confirmed ahead of the event at Morningside Arena, Leicester which takes place from Tuesday, June 25 until Sunday, June 30 with tickets on sale at midday this Friday, May 24 at www.worldcupofpool.com.
The line-up includes three pairs who have previously won the event together; defending champions Wu Jiaqing and Liu Haitao of China, 2017 winners Albin Ouschan and Mario He of Austria and Finland’s Petri Makkonen and Mika Immonen.
As host nation Great Britain can enter two teams, with Scotland’s Jayson Shaw and Yorkshire’s Chris Melling making up Great Britain A and Mark Gray and Imran Majid on Great Britain B. Team USA will be among the favourites after defeating Europe at December’s Mosconi Cup in London; Shane van Boening, a World Cup winner in 2008, returns and is partnered by Mosconi MVP Skyler Woodward for a third time. They reached the World Cup final two years ago before losing out to Austria.
Also familiar to Mosconi Cup fans will be team Sweden, led by European captain Marcus Chamat with Tomas Larsson as his partner. Eklent Kaci is joined by Besar Spahiu for Albania, with Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and World Pool Masters winner David Alcaide playing for Spain.
Former Mosconi MVP Tony Drago pairs with Clayton Castaldi for Malta while Italy’s Fabio Petroni, who memorably played for Europe in the 1998 Mosconi Cup, joins Daniele Corrieri on the Italian team.
Justin Sajich and Danny Stone won their national qualifier to earn the right to represent Australia, and Matt Edwards will this year be paired with Simon Singleton for New Zealand. Richard Halliday returns for South Africa and is this year partnered by Jason Theron while Czech Republic (Roman Hybler and Michal Gavenčiak) and Estonia (Denis Grabe and Mark Magi) have also been confirmed.
More teams will be announced in the coming days with draw and schedule information to follow in due course.
The 2019 World Cup of Pool features 32 two-player teams battling for the $60,000 first prize from a total prize fund of $250,000. Matches are race to 7 in the first two rounds, race to 9 in the quarter and semi-finals and for the first time race to 11 in the final.
Tickets for the 2019 World Cup of Pool go on pre-sale to Matchroom Pool Club members from midday on Thursday, May 23. Membership of the Matchroom Pool Club is free of charge and new members can register now at http://www.matchroompool.com/pool-club/.
General sale begins at midday on Friday, May 24 with tickets priced at £5 for weekday afternoons and £10 for weekday evenings and weekend sessions. Season tickets and premium ticket options are also available.
2019 World Cup of Pool Confirmed Teams:
Albania Eklent Kaci / Besar Spahiu
Australia Justin Sajich / Danny Stone
Austria Albin Ouschan / Mario He
China Wu Jiaqing / Liu Haitao
Czech Republic Roman Hybler / Michal Gavenčiak
Estonia Denis Grabe / Mark Magi
Finland Petri Makkonen / Mika Immonen
Great Britain A Jayson Shaw / Chris Melling
Great Britain B Mark Gray / Imran Majid
Italy Fabio Petroni / Daniele Corrieri
Malta Tony Drago / Clayton Castaldi
New Zealand Matt Edwards / Simon Singleton
South Africa Richard Halliday / Jason Theron
Spain David Alcaide / Francisco Sanchez Ruiz
Sweden Marcus Chamat / Tomas Larsson
USA Shane van Boening / Skyler Woodward