WPBSA International Round-Up | January 2020
A truly global edition of the WPBSA International Round-Up this month as we feature tournament news stories from five different continents.
World Snooker Tour professional Igor Figueiredo continued his dominance of the Brazilian domestic scene as he collected his 14th national snooker championship.
Organised by the Brazilian Confederation of Billiards and Snooker and held at the Yacht Club of Rio de Janeiro, Figueiredo defeated Fabio Luersen 5-1 in the final. Noel Rodrigues finished third and former professional Itaro Santos came fourth. Figueiredo constructed the tournament’s highest break with an effort of 137.
In the women’s event, teenager Nicolly Cristo won her third national championship when she got the better of Mariana Carvalho in the final. Marcella Garcia and Joyce Brito claimed third and fourth places respectively.
World champion and world number one billiards player Peter Gilchrist showed his cuesports versatility by winning the 2020 Singapore National Snooker Championship.
Played over a fortnight at the Cuesports Singapore venue, 51-year-old Gilchrist defeated Goh Beng Kwong 3-0, Toh Lian Han 3-0 and Mok Siew Kay 4-1 before narrowly ousting Jaden Ong Jia Jun 4-3 on the final black in the semi-finals.
Gilchrist’s opponent in the final was Marvin Lim, who had seen off Bernard Tey 4-0 in the other last four tie. Lim began the title decider with a real statement, fashioning a competition high run of 132 in the opening frame. Gilchrist managed to get a foothold, though, clinching frame two on the black and then going on to record a 4-2 victory.
Former European 6-red champion Shachar Ruberg won his fourth national snooker championship in Israel.
The event began back in November with players split into round robin groups where the top four from each pool qualified for the last 32 knockouts. Further rounds were contested in December and January, eventually leading up to the final which was held at the G2 Arena in Ashdod City.
On his way to the final, top seed Ruberg defeated fourth seed Maor Shalom in the last 16, third seed Nadav Biton in the quarter-finals and fifth seed Shay Arama in the semi-finals. In the final, 25-year-old Ruberg made three half-century breaks as he denied number two seed David Vaitzman 5-1. Vaitzman also crafted a run of 60.
Ruberg reached the last four of last year’s European Amateur Championship on home soil, he has also represented Israel alongside Eden Sharav in the last two World Cups in China.
Shortly before the new year, Edmond Zaja won his maiden Albanian National Snooker Championship.
The Albanian Snooker Federation was celebrating the fifth annual edition of this event in which Zaja defeated Ronald Xoxi 3-1 in the final to lift the trophy. Former two-time champion and international pool star Eklent Kaci and Donald Shkodra were the semi-finalists.
In Austria, defending champion Martin Schmidt secured his fifth national billiards championship at BLZ Vienna.
Having come through the groups stage, Schmidt eliminated Emanuel Stegmeier 450-166 in the semi-finals and then this season’s Austrian Billiards League winner Werner Rieschl 546-375 in the final. Rieschl made the tournament’s highest break of 98 during his last four triumph over Carl Walter Steiner.
For a dedicated article on how Florian Nuessle won the Austrian Snooker Championship, please visit here.
A series of national youth titles were claimed at the Commercial Club in Albury at the start of the month.
Queensland’s Xavier Daw defeated Denzel Nicholson 5-4 to win the Australian Under-18 Snooker Championship. In an all Queensland affair Joshua Hands denied Jayden Dinga 3-0 in the Under-15s division.
Lilly Meldrum (Queensland) collected a pair of trophies after successes in the Under-12s final against Zachary Burns 163-49 (two frame points aggregate) and Mia Newman 3-0 in the Girls Under-18 Championship final.
Nicholson and Hands also gained billiards accolades after defeating Harry Mok and Dinga in the Under-18 and Under-15 categories respectively.
The Wanderers Club in Sandton, Johannesburg hosted the recent South African Junior Snooker Championships.
It was a fruitful trip for Erick Fillis, who claimed both the under-16 and under-18 titles, defeating Wayne van Staden (3-1) and Mohammed Raees (3-0) in the respective finals.
Erick’s bid for a hat-trick of trophies was stopped by Franco Kriel in the semi-finals of the under-21 competition. Kriel then lead 2-0 in the final before Rick Fillis – elder brother of Erick – came back with three frames in a row to win the title.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this month’s edition.