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Bravo Bochum, bravo Sam, Thomas and Ludger


Published by frits bakker

© © Kozoom
The winning Bochum team with Sam van Etten, Thomas Nockemann, Ludger Havlik and team chief Paul Kimmerskamp

PRAGUE - The German billiard team of Bochum, with Ludger Havlik (48), Thomas Nockemann (45) and the 20-year Dutch top talent Sam van Etten, has won the gold medal in the European Cup for classic club teams, for the first time in the eight year history. The joy after the victory in the final against the French Ronchin (4-2) was heard far beyond the billiard room. Ludger Havlik, the veteran, gave his comment among singing supporters. Sam van Etten: ,,We were here with a lot of German fans and my two grandfathers and my grandmother also travelled to Prague to support me. The ambiance after our gold win was really fantastic.''

The German team, which participated in all eight editions at the European Cup, was second three times, and put the icing on the cake this time. The two Germans, Havlik and Nockemann are the figureheads of the team. Sam van Etten joined the team three years ago and played his third European Cup. He was the undisputed star player in the team in balk-line 47/2 with two matches in one inning, one in two innings and in the final in three innings. That resulted in a 142 overall average.

The home team Vitkov Prague, that won the cup two years in a row, was dethroned in the semi-finals by Bochum. Sam van Etten took the 47/2 against Eddy Leppens in one inning (250-0) and Thomas Nockemann defeated Marek Faus 200-94 in five innings with a run of 156. Dick Jaspers, who as the rookie for Vitkov Prague, played an excellent tournament in the discipline one cushion, was the only winner for Vitkov in the semi-finals by beating Ludger Havlik 120-26 in seven innings.

The French encounter between Ronchin and Soissons, in the other semi-final, turned into an exciting race. Jean Francois Florent (Ronchin) won the 71/2 match against Esteve Mata (200-192 in 5), Bernard Villiers (Ronchin) defeated Alain Remond (120-76 in 13) and the match between Brahim Djoubri and Olivier Careaux ended in a draw: 250-250 in 9.

Sam van Etten: ,,That we los in our last group match against Ronchin, was surprising, of course and therefore we already faced Vitkov Prague in the semi-finals. But after all, it was not so bad, because we recovered well. For me it was an ideal scenario against Eddy Leppens. He missed the break-off, I had to solve some difficult positions, but I could gather on the line. I started scoring and was only once in trouble around the 200th, but could eventually complete it in one inning.''

The young Dutchman, who plays as a junior at the upcoming European championship for the last time, was in the final again superior to Brahim Djoubri. He missed in his first on 212 and even in the second inning one carom from the end, but Djoubri could not threaten him at all. Ludger Havliuk lost to Bernard Villiers in one cushion 120-35 with a final run of 78 (Villiers therefore remained unbeaten). But when Thomas Nockemann finished in the second against Jean Francois Florent (runs 90 and 110), the equalizers in two matches (Djoubri and Forent) were decisive in the battle for gold. When Djoubri missed at 89 and Florent at 58, the German party could start. Bravo Bochem, bravo Sam, Thomas and Ludger!!!!!

The winning team on stage during the ceremony in Prague

Ronchin took second place with Bernard Villiers (unbeaten), Jean Francois Florent and Brahim Djoubri