In twelve years of “Hurghada” tournaments, Dick Jaspers had never managed to win. He broke that bad tradition this Saturday afternoon. The final World Cup of the season was won by the Dutchman, who beat his main rival Frédéric Caudron in a nervous final: 40 – 34 in 21 innings. The two best players in the world can both look back on a wonderful year: Caudron won the World Cup cycle for 2018, Jaspers won the world title and both players won two World Cups.
Jaspers has often played unlucky World Cups but he always soldiered on without complaining. This week, his luck changed for the better. Miraculous escapes against Sidhom and Haeng Jik Kim took him into a final he could also have lost, due to a few unforced errors. But his opponents could not make the final point, and the Dutchman kept winning. Even his last point in the Hurghada final was a fortunate one, but it gave him the 24th World Cup victory of his career.
Hurghada 2018 was a high-level tournament, and it was not short of highlights. A 63-year-old Egyptian player named Mohsen Fouda eliminated Eddy Merckx, running 16 and 4 in his last two innings. Myung Woo Cho made 40 in 10 innings, running a 22. Haeng Jik Kim should have lost to Bury, but produced two runs of 11 to escape.
The two semifinals were a bit similar: Jaspers trailing against Haeng Jik Kim, having the better finish. Caudron trailing against Sayginer, creeping closer towards the end and finishing with a run of six, leaving the Turk on 39.
The final between the two best players in the world was not their best ever: both made more mistakes than they would have liked. Excitement made up for that: the audience loved the tension. Jaspers crossed the finish line first and apologized for his lucky shot even before he celebrated the win. After thirteen months, Caudron concedes the number one position on the ranking to Jaspers.
Final standing of “Hurghada”:
- Jaspers 2.040
- Caudron 2.086
- Haeng Jik Kim 2.239
- Sayginer 2.038
- Blomdahl 1.866
- Bury 1.815
- Nelin 1.730
- Forthomme 1.515
The high run was made by Myung Woo Cho: 22. He also had the best match average: 4.000.
The new World Ranking:
- Jae Ho Cho
- Quyet Chien Tran