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Belgian superduo Caudron/Merckx can make history again


Published by frits bakker

© Five&Six
Frédéric Caudron and Eddy Merckx, gloriously to the best 8 in Ho Chi Minh World Cup

HO CHI MINH – The Belgian super duo, Frédérick Caudron and Eddy Merckx, are reunited and on their way to big successes again. In the World Cup in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, the two Belgians played their way into the quarter-finals of the event in this early Saturday morning. Dutch world number one, Korean trump Myung Woo Cho and Vietnamese star Quyet Chien Tran were eliminated. The top eight of this World Cup are left with Merckx and Caudron, along with three Turks, one Spaniard, one Korean and one Vietnamese.

But no Jaspers thus, no Zanetti, no Blomdahl, no Haeng Jik Kim, no Tasdemir, no Quyet Chien Tran, who are so decisive in the last years of World Cups and major championships.

Frédéric Caudron is back from his PBA adventure, underwent double hip surgery not long ago during the World nation championship in Viersen and survived all the preliminaries in Ho Chi Minh. Eddy Merckx feels like a reigning king there, having already won this World Cup twice in Ho Chi Minh. Together, they have a magnificent record at the World nations Cup in Viersen, where the Caudron/Merckx tandem in top form won four in a row in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

On the later Saturday, Caudron plays against Korean Jun Tae Kim, Eddy Merckx against Burak Hashas, the young Turk who won so sensationally against Dick Jaspers. The other matches are Ruben Legazpi against Tolgahan Kiraz and Duc Minh Tran, the not-too-famous Vietnamese who is close to becoming the prodigy of this Word Cup against Berkay Karakurt.

Dick Jaspers left the World Cup early Saturday morning. The Dutchman had no chances in the first knock-out round against Turkish junior Burak Hashas, who is leaving for the PBA in Korea after this World Cup. The Turk won the match with the Dutchman 50-30 in 24 innings, partly due to a run with fantastic shots by Hashas in the penultimate inning.

The Belgian tandem is also gloriously moving up to the top eight of the World Cup. Eddy Merckx was winner against Vietnamese coming-man Nguyen Chi Long 50-32 in 25. Merckx quickly put his opponent under pressure with starts of 2, 3, 3 and 7. Long gave up the fight in a series of zeros towards the end, Merckx finishing with 2, 2 and 2.

Frédéric Caudron was the better in the final sprint against Korean super-talent Myung Woo Cho: 50-41 in 25 innings. Caudron started with 9, Cho with 5, after ten innings Caudron led 15-9 and after a run of 5 he seemed to be running away, but the little Cho suddenly attacked with 12 and led 22-20. However, the final was for Caudron again with a run of 11 four innings before the end.

Ruben Legazpi was the top winner in that 16-round beating Korean Myeong Jong Cha 50-38 in 21, both with a run of 11 in the match. Jun Tae Kim won the Korean clash with Dong Ryong Kim 50-39 in 31 and Berkay Karakurt triumphed in the stunning duel with Nikos Polychronopoulos 50-47 in 33 innings. Of the well known Europeans, Marco Zanetti also went out against Tolgahan Kiraz with 50-40 in 23.

The presence of three Turks among the best eight is high-profile. The European billiard mecca has been ravaged in recent years by the departure of Semih Sayginer and Murat Naci Coklu to the PBA, but still has plenty of stars left: Berkay Karakurt, Burak Hashas, the huge talent and Tolgahan Kiraz made it to the top eight of this World Cup in Ho Chi Minh and are making a bid for the podium places.