Liando U Valley World Pool Team Championship 2012

July 11, 2012

Finally we are back in Norway after an exciting trip to China. We arrived Friday, June 29 after about 12 hours in the air. The first couple of days agreed to change the day, there are 6 hours difference which means that we get up in the middle of the night. We also organized practice sessions for two hours both Friday, Saturday and Sunday before the game. There were a total of 8 practice tables in the arena and first come first served apply. If your name is not in the list, you can not practice. You are not even assured practice before the

game, it all depends on how fast you are and how tough you are to tell people that the tables should be shared. It’s no ordinary Norwegian courtesy.

Team Norway, from front: Ine Helvik, Roger Rasmussen, Mats Schjetne, Matey Ullah

Tecnichal meeting

Already on Saturday we saw how the Chinese organizers change the rules to what suits them best. When we came back from a shopping trip, they had deleted our practice time and replaced it with a dinner after the technical meeting. This was also applied for the Swedes and in the end we got them to change the time. The technical meeting created more questions than answers and we walked away with a feeling that there was going to be changes in the course of the week. At least we got to use talcum powder even though they actually tried to ban it, but communication at the table in the team matches were excluded. Only on the chairs while the 45 seconds we had available each shot ran. Nevertheless, on Sunday we were ready to fight.

Match between Germany and Norway. The carpet is custom made:)

First day of play
Germany was the opponent and we were as prepared as we could be. We started with the loss of both 8-ball matches and Roger got beat by Hohmann in the 9-ball singles. My opponent was Michel Jasmin, silver medalist in the 9-ball Championship this year, and I was determined that I should at least win my match. I did and the team got a new drive. Matey won the 10-ball single to Ortmann and Mats and I won the 10-ball mixed doubles. Thus, we secured 1 point and was the current “hot topic”. Our group quickly became death group and was probably, along with the Swedish group, the hardest.

The matches were played as follows:

Single 8-ball: Roger – Jentsch 2-6
Double 8-ball: Matey / Mats – Souquet / Hohmann 4-6
Single 9-Ball Women: Ine – Michel Jasmin 8-1
Single 9-ball men: Roger – Hohmann 1-8
Single 10-ball: Matey – Ortmann 7-6
Double mix 10-ball: Ine / Mats – Michel / Jentsch 7-6

Mats had today’s jump shot all over the table to lower the 10-ball with 2-ball in the mixed doubles match. The rules were now slowly but surely changed and it was not easy to know what was in use. 3 points rule was not taken up and suddenly it was OK to talk with your partner in doubles matches. Roger got the feeling in Chinese iniquity in single match against Jentsch (8-ball). In the middle of a game the referee noticed that the 8-ball was gone and called the main referee. They found that since Roger broke and Jentsch was on the table the correct thing to do was to spot the 8-ball….. When I found out what they had done I protested wildly, clearly there should be a regame. However, it was too late, the game was resumed. Oh well.

Second day of play
The favorite Chinese Taipei was the opponent today. We did what we could to be prepared, Matey was even at the doctor with a sore throat and got 36 bottles of Chinese medicine. We tried our best and we almost won several of the matches, but almost is not good enough. It ended with a loss 0-6. We also got to see the referees biased behavior when he instantly ruled a foul on Mats, grabbed the cue ball and ended all opportunity of discussion. Mats had touched he said. He did not.

The matches were played as follows:

Chinese Taipei after winning the championships

Single 8-ball: Roger – TPE 4-6
Double 8-ball: Matey / Mats – TPE 4-6
Single 9-Ball Women: Ine – TPE 1-8
Single 9-ball men: Roger – TPE 6-8
Single 10-ball: Matey – TPE 6-7
Double mix 10-ball: Ine / Mats – TPE 2-7

0-6 seemed unfair, but that’s it. Loss is loss, almost does not count.

Third day of play

Mongolia! We had to win or we would be out.  We started well and quickly led 3-0. Suddenly the score was 3-2 and Matey had the decisive battle in 10-ball. The match ended 7-4 and we won 4-2 and was through to the single elimination! The Mongolian team were very nice and they had small presents for us all:)

The matches were played as follows:
Single 8-ball: Mats – Mongolia 6-4
Double 8-ball: Matey / Roger – Mongolia 6-1
Single 9-Ball Women: Ine – Mongolia 8-3
Single 9-ball men: Roger – Mongolia 6-8
Single 10-ball: Matey – Mongollia 7-4
Double mix 10-ball: Ine / Mats – Mongolia 5-7

We got four points in the group, same as Germany, but they had better score than us.

Late at night they did the draw. Or rather the seeding of all teams. I have never seen such strange way of making a draw. Ralf Souquet tried to get them to explain many times, but had to give up. What we did kind of understanding was: The four best met the four thirds. That means we were to meet Chinese Taipei, Philippines, China 1 or China 2. The next team would then meet each other, that means the next 4 would meet the 4 bottom second places. On top of this, they felt that one should not face a team one had just played against, but moved the team if that happened. The problem was that one should be moved into the second half of the form, that means that this team could not meet a team they already played against before the end of the single elimination…. Here we lost the understanding completly …. They placed the teams where they wanted them. That is what it looked like to us.

Anyway, we draw the Philippines and were actually happy with that. Then we did have to be bothered with our slightly biased referees.

Playing against the legends! Matey and Roger against Reyes and Bustamente

Fourth day of play

Last 16 against the Philippines. We were in good spirits, we had absolutely nothing to lose. We did not make it, but we kept up in three out of four matches. Small margins and a few dry breaks made the difference. We lost 0-4.

The matches were played as follows:

Single 8-ball: Mats – Orcollo 4-6
Double 8-ball: Matey / Roger – Reyes / Bustamente 2-6
Single 9-Ball Women: Ine – Rubilen Amit 5-8
Single 9-ball men: Mats – Bustamente 5-8

This was the end for us, but 9th place after being the one of the hardest groups is ok!

Thursday 5 July

This day they organized a sightseeing trip for us, and Matey, Mats and I went. We had a police escort with blue lights in front of the bus and four TV cameras following us everywhere. I was interviewed twice on the trip. We went to a park and was on a boat trip.

Police escorte:)

One of the interviews. If I had known I would put on some makeup lol:)

Prize money was picked up, it took two and a half hours …  After this, we went to the city center and silkmarket shopping. Roger got a new suit and countless bags of shoes, T-shirts and gifts. Negotiating price is a must in China, it was learned quickly:)

The semifinal between the United Kingdom and Chinese Taipei ended 0-4
The semifinal between Japan and China ended 9-7 after a shoot-out.

Friday, July 6

Matey and I decided to go to the Great Wall with team from Australia. It was a great trip, but steep and warm. David Rothall from Australia twisted his ankle, but we got down ok. Peking Duck finished the tour following a little shopping trip in the Silk Market. We ladies had coffee while the men were shopping.

Peking duck as it should always be. Perfect!

Vegetables… How can vegetables look so good and taste so good…

I cannot let this paragraph go without mentioning our guide for the day:  Meet Alvin, the most dedicated tour guide you can find! Except for the ” need two minutes to….”  talk for at least 5 minutes he was absolutely great! He would put in his black gloves everytime he wanted to say something. He was with us all day, 14 hours, and we payed almost nothing. You can find him here: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g294212-i2147-k4196339-Alvin_Benton_Guide-Beijing.html

Meet Alvin:)

Alvin again

The final between Japan and Chinese Taipei ended 0-4. Chinese Taipei (TPE) was absolutely superb. They won 5 of 7 games without the opponent getting points. And we were close ….

Results:
1. Chinese Taipei
2. Japan
3. United Kingdom
3. China 2
5. Sweden (Gratulerer!!)
5. China 1
5. Canada
5. Philippines
9. Norway
9. Finland
9. Korea
9. India
9. Indonesia
9. Australia
9. Poland
9. Germany
Saturday 7 July
Home! The whole team was ready to get home. Mats had to spend a night in Oslo, but besides that it went virtually without a hitch. The journey took about 10 hours from China to Copenhagen, it was a bunch of tired waiting for the next flight. It is good that we do not have to set off on a long trip again soon:)

Thanks for a great trip guys!

Ine:)

Some more pictures:

Outside the arena. Posters everywhere and also small ones in the streets

Practice area. Roger at the table

The Birds Nest. Amazing construction

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