Team Europe has already secured seven medals in World junior 9-ball championships so far and has a huge potential to win a gold with representatives in all three finals.
In the girls’ division, Kristina Tkach (Russia) needed her best against the USA rising start April Larson to secure her place in the final. The match between two good friends was very even and it was Larson who had an advantage most of the match with her rock-solid game. However, Kristina was not the first time in a position like this and she managed to turn things around to finish the match with 9:7 victory. In second semifinal the defending champion Chen Chia Hua (Chinese Taipei) struggled against Lee Woojin (South Korea). Nothing was going Chen’s way and she needed to accept a bitter defeat from the underdog Lee Woojin.
In the under 17 division it was Sanjin Pehlivanovic (Bosnia and Hercegovina) and Wiktor Zielinski (Poland) who took all the attention from the crowd. Both players have met each other in many finals so far and it was hard to predict who will win this time. For sure the match was worth to be a final match, but the fate connected both teen starts one round earlier. Again it was Wiktor’s who tried to be aggressive from very beginning and again the risk didn’t pay out. With his calm nerves, Sanjin capitalized every opportunity he got and quickly got the initiative which he kept till the very end the match. In another semifinal, Mustafa Alnar (North Cyprus) started very strong 6:2 against Robie James Capito (Hongkong). It seemed that nothing can stop Mustafa’s determination to play his dream final next day, but in the end, it was his break which started to struggle. Robbie James soon minimized the deficit then later found his rhythm which allowed him to finish the match with 9:7 victory.
In the under 19 division Jan van Lierop (Netherlands) couldn’t find his best game against Enkhbold Temuujin (Mongolia). Jan missed few balls in the beginning of the match which definitely affected his self-belief. Temuujin who played not so good in the start of the tournament seemed to be stronger with each win. He was able to keep his opponent behind all the time and secured his place in the final with 11:6 win. The other semifinal between Fedor Gorst (Russia) and Patrick Hofmann (Germany) was the total opposite to their first meeting in the winner’s qualification round. It was Fedor who missed a couple easy shots at the beginning of the set and allowed Patrick to gain the lead. It seemed that Patrick will be able to fulfil his revenge for the heavy loss against Fedor one day ago, but in the end, it was Patrick who created problems out of nothing. He couldn’t keep his nerves calm and didn’t use few easy opportunities to close the match. Somehow Fedor recovered and showed his best playing skills at the end of the match. It was very close 11:8 victory.
All three final will be played 3rd of November.