The last World Cup in Luxor was also the best

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The last World Cup in Luxor was also the best
LUXOR – You could not dream up a much better final than the one played on the last day of the Luxor World Cup. The number one player on the world ranking and the reigning world champion, facing off after having both shown tremendous form, over 2.500 average after four rounds. It was a repeat of the match for the Supercup, and again Dani Sánchez came out on top. Dick Jaspers had the best start in the final, with a run of ten from the break. Sánchez took over the initiative in the third inning with a run of 14, and after Jaspers had made a five, the players took the halftime break (20-18 in 4!). Seven then became the magic number for Sánchez: he ran 7 in the sixth inning and again 7 in the eighth. The tenth and last inning: another run of seven. Final score: 40-28 in 10. When Dani made the final point, he had not only won his ninth World Cup, he had also broken the World Cup record for general average, a record he already held in a share with Blomdahl (2.739. With matches in 11, 15, 19, 16 and 10 innings, beating Nady, Coklu, Polychronopoulos, Tasdemir and Jaspers, he scored 200 points in 71 innings, giving him a grand average of 2.816. What more can Sánchez win, after he had already called 2016 "the best year in my career", with the world title, the Supercup win and the Player of the Year award. Maybe 2017 has even more in store for him. Dick Jaspers had very little to be sad about, he played a superb World Cup as well, with wins over Birol Uymaz, Sung Won Choi, Haeng Jik Kim, and Myung Woo Cho before his loss in the final. The Luxor main tournament averaged a lofty 1.670. Dani Sánchez was all smiles when he shared the podium with  Dick Jaspers, Myung-Woo Cho and Tayfun Tasdemir. The winner, in a first response: ,,I can hardly believe it, to win with a record, in a field as strong as this.’’  ,,I did not think my form was great when I came here’’, said Sánchez,  but during the tournament he reached the highest level he has ever achieved in a World Cup. ,,The pressure was high, because we needed a super level in order to win. I could make my move at the perfect time in the match, after a small mistake by Jaspers.’’ Dick Jaspers realized that he had played a strong final, but had been punished for a few minor errors. ,,I missed a difficult massé  and left Sánchez with a prime position, from which he ran fourteen. That turned out to be the key moment in the match. I knew I had to play perfectly, because Dani has never been more dangerous than he is now.’’ The Dutchman stays on top of the world ranking, even strengthening his position. ,,The fact that I am the nr. 1 is because I was in three consecutive World Cup finals. I could not win any of the three, unfortunately. Still, I am proud to still be the world nr. 1.’’ Top favorites like Frédéric Caudron, Eddy Merckx and Torbjörn Blomdahl were eliminated by Eddy Leppens, Haeng-Jik Kim and Semih Sayginer. Tayfun Tasdemir shone in the second round, when he obliterated Eddy Leppens 40-3 in 10 innings. The best match of the tournament was shared by Tasdemir and Sánchez: 40 in 10. The Spaniard made the highest run: 17. The tournament average (main draw) was 1.670. The World Cup circuit said goodbye to Luxor after four editions. In 2018, Egypt will host the World Championships, probably in Cairo, in the shadow of one of the famous pyramids. The final ranking in Luxor: 1 Dani Sánchez 2.816-17
2 Dick Jaspers 2.540-10
3 Tayfun Tasdemir 2.343-10
4 Myung-Woo Cho 2.073-10
5 Nikos Polychronopoulos 1.854-12
6 Semih Sayginer 1.676-12
7 Marco Zanetti 1.546-9
8 Haeng-Jik Kim 1.516-10
9 Sung-Won Choi 2.117-15
10 Quyet Chien Tran 1.900-7
11 Murat Naci Coklu 1.815-12
12 Jae Guen Kim 1.547-12
13 Jérémy Bury 1.320-8
14 Can Capak 1.265-8
15 Eddy Leppens 1.162-10
16 Jung-Han Heo 1.038-9. The new world ranking after Luxor:
1 Dick Jaspers 408
2 Dani Sánchez 396
3 Frédéric Caudron 346
4 Torbjörn Blomdahl 308
5 Nikos Polychronopoulos 307
6 Jérémy Bury 271
7 Marco Zanetti 265
8 Eddy Merckx 250
9 Haeng-Jik Kim 240
10 Sameh Sidhom 220
11 Jae-Ho Cho 213
12 Nguyen Quoc Nguyen 207
13 Jung-Han Heo 200
14 Murat Naci Coklu 199
15 Quyet Chien Tran 198
16 Tayfun Tasdemir 175
17 Sung-Won Choi 175
18 Minh Cam Ma 158
19 Dong-Koong Kang 156
20 Semih Sayginer 147.