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Another gold for Dutch ladies in Ankara


Published by frits bakker

© Turkish federation
The European podium for nation teams with Netherlands, Turkey, Denmark and Belgium

ANKARA - The first gold was already won, the second gold medal was the reward for a super successful weekend two days later. Dutch sport also has its real lionesses and winners at the billiard podium. Therese Klompenhouwer won the European Women's Individual three cushion Championship in Ankara last Friday. Two days later, together with Karina Jetten, she also took European Championship gold for teams. That puts Dutch women's billiards far above all other European nations where three-cushion is played.

The orange stronghold also has big winners in the world among ladies in cycling, athletics, football and hockey, but nowhere does that hegemony is shown so impressively as in billiards. That is mainly due to Therese Klompenhouwer, who took all European titles (11 in total) in the history of women's billiards to the Netherlands. Twice in recent years a European team championship was also played, twice the Netherlands won: last year Therese with Monique van Exter, this weekend Therese with Karina Jetten.

This year, Turkey, a country with thousands of billiard players but no competitors for Therese, was defeated in the final. In the final, Therese Klompenhouwer beat her long-time rival Gülsen Degener 30-19 in 29 innings. Karina Jetten defeated Güzin Mujde Karakasli 30-19 in 43. The opposition for the Netherlands was bigger in the semi-finals where Denmark (Charlotte Sörensen, Nanna Petersen) were nevertheless both defeated

The best example for Therese's supremacy is that the Dutch played almost only matches over 1 average and one even with almost 2 on average. In the individual championship with 24 players, half of the field played matches under half an average and only Karina Jetten, Gülsen Degener and Jaimie Buelens exceptionally played a match of just 1 average.

The 11th European Championship was rarely so weakly occupied, as in the individual tournament where nobody reached the 1 average. The averages rose in the team event, in which there was apparently less tension. The Netherlands was on the podium followed by Turkey, Denmark and Belgium. Moreover, the reward for Therese was that she may go to the World Games in China with Jaimie Buelens as second player.

Was the Dutch hegemony ever as big as this year? Following the low averages, that was the question. Therese Klompenhouwer, after 11 titles in a row, may note, crying in the wilderness, that still there was no real opposition. The European federation is trying hard to promote women's billiards, but in Therese's shadow, the level remains mediocre and there is a big lack of professional lady players like there are so many in the Korean professional league.

Potential rivals for Therese do play there, in Asia, but they are suspended from matches in the regular world league because of playing in the Korean league. The queen of Europe, Therese Klompenhouwer, is stuck on her throne. She could even afford to have a total off-day this weekend in the final against Jaimie Buelens. Even at such a bad moment, it is impossible to win against Therese. The 11-time European champion's dominance inspired Karina Jetten to rise above herself in the team event.

Therese, who is newly married and has a family with two girls now, realizes all too well that she can earn much more in the Korean professional league. Korean Ga-young Kim won a major tournament this Sunday and already for the third time a top prize of some 50,000 euros. Therese received 1,600 euros for her European title on the same day, which she has to share with Karina Jetten. But still Therese assures: ’’I don't want to live in South Korea for months to play tournaments there. My life motto as a sports woman is to win titles in the traditional world league. My home is in the Netherlands, my loved ones and friends live here. I rather live in a land where I earn less from my sport, but where I am happy.’’

Therese and Karina, the Dutch winners at the European team championship

The European podium in Ankara with Netherlands, Turkey, Denmark and Belgium

The final score at the European team championship (average, highest runs):

  1. Netherlands 0.872-8
  2. Turkey 1 0.604-6
  3. Denmark 0.598-6
  4. Belgium 0.486-8
  5. Spain 0.528-6
  6. Germany 0.517-5
  7. Austria 0.370-4
  8. Greece 0.384-4