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Greece Wins Gold in the European Billiards Championships

Billiards Greece
Nikos Polychronopoulos and Kostantinos Kokkoris won gold for Greece. Credit: Video screenshot/Facebook/Hellenic Precision Sports Federation

Greece won the gold medal in the three-cushion-team European Billiards Championships that were held in Antalya, Turkey last weekend.

In the final of the Confédération Européenne de Billard (CEB) tournament, Greece played against Sweden.

Polychronopoulos and Kokkoris the heroes for Greece in billiards

While Nikos Polychronopoulos dominated the first singles against Torbjörn Blomdahl, it was the other way around at the second table. Here Michael Nilsson had a clear win for Sweden against Kostantinos Kokkoris, so that it came to the decisive doubles.

Michael Nilsson surprisingly missed the opening ball and Polychronopoulos/Kokkoris mercilessly took advantage. They scored fourteen points in a row before Polychronopoulos missed the match point by a hair’s breadth. Sweden, of course, did not want to admit defeat yet, but Torbjörn Blomdahl also missed a point by millimeters.

So, Greece was back on the table and Kostantinos Kokkoris took the second match point. Before the carom with the third ball had even taken place, the two Greeks were already jubilantly in each other’s arms.

The two semifinals between Greece and the Netherlands and Sweden and Turkey did not suffer from a lack of suspense either. Both matches went into the scotch doubles after split singles. The Netherlands took an immediate 5:0 lead, but Greece fought back to finish the match 15:7.

The match between Sweden and Turkey was similar. After both teams had won a singles match each, it went into the deciding doubles match. The Turkish duo was already leading 13:8, but Blomdahl/Nilsson, with nerves of steel, turned the match around with a run of 7 points.

The Netherlands was represented by Dick Jaspers and Jean-Paul de Bruijn, for Turkey Semih Sayginer and Tayfun Tasdemir played.

Billiards popular in Europe and Asia

The CEB is responsible for the carom billiards sports in Europe in general, and its affiliated national associations.

Carom billiards, sometimes called carambole billiards, is the overarching title of a family of cue sports generally played on cloth-covered, pocketless billiard tables.

In its simplest form, the object of the game is to score points or “counts” by caroming one’s own cue ball off both the opponent’s cue ball and the object ball on a single shot. The invention as well as the exact date of origin of carom billiards is somewhat obscure but is thought to be traceable to 18th-century France.

There is a large array of carom billiards disciplines. Some of the more prevalent today and historically are (chronologically by apparent date of development): straight rail, one-cushion, balkline, three-cushion and artistic billiards.

Carom billiards is popular in Europe, particularly France, where it originated. It is also popular in Asian countries, including Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam, but is now considered obscure in North America, having been supplanted by pool in popularity.

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