WORLD CUP OF POOL 2023 | AUSTRIA AND CHINA MAKE SEMI-FINALS
Sun, 02 Jul 2023
Austria and China joined the Philippines and Germany in the semi-finals of the 2023 World Cup of Pool at Pazo de Feiras e Congresos de Lugo, Spain in partnership with The Asociación Gallega de Billar Pool (AGP), Xunta de Galicia, and EIDF Solar to reach the quarter-finals live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in Spain, the USA, Italy, and Brazil, Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Poland and broadcasters worldwide.
Two-time winners Austria were tasked with taking down Great Britain's Jayson Shaw and Elliott Sanderson if they were to create history as being the first nation in history to win the title three times with the same scotch doubles pairing of Albin Ouschan and Mario He with the last of the two crowns coming in 2019.
Austria opened up well to take the first three racks without reply but GB stepped back up to the task despite Sanderson scratching into the bottom left pocket early in the fourth rack to make it 3-1 then 3-2. The closeness of the two European nations was short-lived though as Austria stepped into a 5-2 advantage, four more was needed for a spot in the semi-finals.
GB pulled back to 5-3 to have the break in the ninth but Sanderson's day went from bad to worse as he scratched on the break to give Austria a clean run out at the table for 6-3. The error-strewn nature of Great Britain's showing was always going to catch up with them and a long eight ball down the rail from Sanderson caught the side and was left hanging for He and Ouschan to go four ahead at 7-3.
On the hill at 8-3, Ouschan was always stretching to make a seven ball as he saw it go agonisingly the wrong way necessary for a clean out leaving GB to pick up the pieces for 8-4 and a glimmer of hope.
The contest was soon wrapped up for Austria though in the next rack with a comfortable 9-4 win setting up a tantalising semi-final with the Philippines tomorrow afternoon.
In the final quarter-final, Japan (Naoyuki Oi and Masato Yoshioka) were looking for a maiden semi-final berth whilst China continued their hunt for a fourth World Cup of Pool, something that would be an all-time record. China's Wu Jia Qing and Wang Can took the opening rack and it should have been two if it wasn't for an uncharacteristic miss on the nine from the normally ever-reliable Wu.
Nothing separated the sides on both sides as they went to 2-2, 3-3 and soon 4-4 after an error from Wu on the four allowed Oi and Yoshioka in to level up once again. At 5-4 up, China lost the table briefly but came back to steal a real march on the contest for the first time to take a tight rack for a deficit of two.
With Spanish Open Pool Championship winner Dang Jin Hu watching on, China were inspired from there on despite Wu leaving a four ball hanging to allow Japan to get back in at 6-5. In the 12th, Oi let out his frustration after missing a simple four ball which put China in to establish a two rack difference once again. At that stage, China found a new gear to close out the match 9-5 and set up a tie with Germany tomorrow afternoon.
Match Schedule - CEST
1pm - Austria vs Philippines
1:30pm - Germany vs China
7pm - The Final
The 2023 World Cup of Pool continues from 7pm tonight local time live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland with those in Spain, Italy, and the USA able to watch on DAZN. Fans in Scandinavia, Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland can watch on Viaplay with further broadcasters around the world. See where to watch in your country here with more broadcasters to be announced. Action will also be live on Matchroom.Live.
The 2023 World Cup of Pool will be played alongside the 31st Galician Team Pool Billiards Championship, which will bring together more than 1,000 players in the Pazo de Ferias y Congresos de Lugo, where more than 40 tables will be in action. The participants in this tournament considered the biggest in Europe, will compete for the regional titles and the prizes arranged by the Galician Association of Pool Billiards.
Additional tickets for the 2023 World Cup of Pool are now on sale with allocations selling out within 24 hours. Buy tickets here from only €10.
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