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Mirjam attacks, Terri winner again in Holland


Published by frits bakker

© Ton Smilde
The podium after the finals with Therese Klompenhouwer, Mirjam Pruim, Karina Jetten and Monique van Exter

OOSTERHOUT - The attack on Terri's throne was stopped just before the finish line. Therese Klompenhouwer grabbed the Dutch title again after all, despite an offensive by Mirjam Pruim in the final part. The champion's final sprint was good for the gold medal: for the 17th consecutive time in Therese Klompenhouwer's career. ’’The final was wonderful, exciting and of a high level,'' Terri observed. And Mirjam, in a Dutch final match for the first time, had fought to the end. ''I didn't think about winning, I just gave it my all.''

The title, in the end, ended up where it belongs on the basis of class and fighting spirit. Therese Klompenhouwer won that final 30-22 in 27 after a run of six at the decisive moment. Therese (41) later analysed: ’’I didn't get off to a good start, got tricky balls from Mirjam, who played very well. At the break I was 15-11 down, then I had some small chances, but I did’nt score to well. Mirjam also didn't really take advantage with high runs, so I was able to creep closer and eventually I was ahead 20-16. Then I made a couple of small runs and I went on to the title.''

Therese (41) realixed: ’’Among the 17 titles I won, this was definitely one of the most exciting finals, even if it skews slightly when you look at the score.'' Miriam (48) confessed: ’’We all know that Therese is actually unbeatable. So you don't think about winning  when you are still ahead at half-time. What I think about is to keep playing technically well and stable. And it comes, as it comes at the end of the match. I am already happy that I could get this far in the final.''

Therese Klompenhouwer reached the final in the knockouts after wins over Sylvia Eckel (30-7 in 22) and Monique van Exter in the semi-finals (30-17 in 15). ''I played strong in that semi-final,'' she later felt. Mirjam Pruim first beat Joke Martijn 30-26 in 50 and Karina Jetten in the semi-final 30-20 in 39.

Far from being a new face, Mirjam Pruim was in her first final here. Her progression is undisputed, as she finished third at the last World championship. Mirjam (48) is a housewife, has a daughter (Melanie) aged 23 and she comes from the classical games. ’’When I was 11, I started playing billiards, but I stopped for about 13 years. From about 10 years ago, I started playing again, and from now mostly three-cushion.''

While Mirjam had to rush home on Sunday evening to celebrate her son-in-law's birthday, Therese snuggled up on the couch at home, another title richer. Therese: ’’My mother and her husband were there on the final day, so we had a drink. And then enjoyed going home. We got home, Eveline and I, and a delicious meal was waiting for us. That's how we celebrated this title.''

The podium of this NK was completed by Monique van Exter and Karina Jetten. Therese Klompenhouwer finished the knockouts with 1.406. Mirjam with 0.706.

Therese Klompenhouwer with her new trophy

Mirjam Pruim, a nice silver medal