On Thursday, three more gold medal decisions were on the schedule at the European Billiards Championships in Antalya/Turkey.

Winner in Balkline 71/2 was Marek Faus from Czech Republic, the team competition in the Artistic Billiards, which was held for the first time, was secured by the hosts from Turkey and last but not least Joan Espinasa from Spain became the new continental champion in the 3-Cushion event on the small table.

Balkline 71/2:
The spectators of the Balkline 71/2-final saw an outstanding comeback on site and in the livestream. For the first ten innings it looked as if Willy Gerimont could successfully defend his title. At this point, the Frenchman was in the lead with 171:20 points and needed only 29 points to win the European title.

In the eleventh inning, however, it was the time of Marek Faus, who had already won the title in the Balkline 47/2 a few days ago. Up to this point, the Czech did not succeed much, but suddenly he got into a flow. From then on, he played Balkline 71/2 in an absolutely brilliant way. Over 180 points he moved the balls precisely and like clockwork along the middle line and celebrated the game in perfection. Gerimont had no choice but to watch Faus' performance and congratulate him on his magnificent comeback to win the title.

In the semifinals, the new European Champion had previously won against Michel van Silfhout, while Willy Gerimont won against Micha van Bochem. The two Dutchmen were thus left with the bronze medal. Their compatriot Raymund Swertz was again left without a medal, losing to Micha van Bochum in extra innings in the quarterfinals.

Artistic National Teams:
Today, the Turkish duo of Haci Arap Yaman and Baris Cin entered the European history books with their victory over Spain (Sergio Sanchez & Hector Cuadrado). This is because the team competition in Artistic Billiards was held for the first time.

A maximum of seven figures were played in each set and the aim was to win a total of three sets. The first set was won by the Spaniards, but in the second and third the Turks were on top with the last shot. The decision was then made in the fourth set when the Spaniards could not solve the sixth figure and Baris Cin then scored a maximum score of ten points. This gave the Turks an unassailable lead and they fell into each other's arms in jubilation.

Somewhat disappointed was perhaps the German team, which had led Spain 2:1-sets in the semifinal. Marvin Heinrich and Thomas Ahrens then had to admit defeat with 2:3. Thus, they received the bronze medal at the award ceremony just like France 2 with Anthony Marvin and Jean Reverchon.

3-Cushion Small Table:
The European Champion in this discipline today was Joan Espinasa from Spain. In the final against Markus Dömer from Germany, Espinasa took an early lead which made him look like a sure winner already at half time. As the match progressed, Dömer managed to come back to 27:33, but then had to watch Espinasa score another six points to make it 27:39.

After that, the Spaniard missed three match points, but Dömer could only score two points during this time. In the 22nd inning, Joan Espinasa finally used his fourth match point and was crowned the new European Champion.
The two bronze medals went to the Turks Seymen Ozbas and Mübin Isli. Ozbas lost against the later gold medalist with 38:40, while Isli lost against Dömer with 30:40.

3-Cushion Men:
In the most prestigious discipline of carom billiards, the participants of the round of 16 were determined today. A total of sixteen athletes had already been seeded for the round of the last 32 and were only playing for the first time in the evening. Another sixteen sportsmen qualified beforehand via a group stage with a total of 48 sportsmen. 

The most prominent victims in this early phase of the tournament were probably Jerome Barbeillon (France) and Rui Manuel Costa from Portugal, who could certainly have been expected to reach the final round.
The tournament really got going in the early evening with the knockout stage. From here on, no one was allowed to make a mistake. Nevertheless, this happened to a few of the established players. First and foremost are Nikos Polychronopoulos (Greece), Jeremy Bury (France) and Martin Horn from Germany.

Still in the running are defending champion Daniel Sanchez (Spain), World Champion Tayfun Tasdemir (Turkey), Vice World Champion Ruben Legazpi (Spain) and last but not least Dick Jaspers (Netherlands), Eddy Merckx (Belgium), Marco Zanetti (Italy), Semih Sayginer (Turkey) and Sweden's Torbjörn Blomdahl.

3-Cushion Club Teams, Small Table:
The competition for 3-Cushion Club Teams also started today on the small table. A total of 17 duos are divided into four groups, with the first two teams reaching the quarterfinals. This is scheduled for Saturday, the new European Champion will be crowned on the final day of the event on Sunday. Defending Champion is BC De Goeie Queue from Belgium.

The entire event can be followed in the paid livestream on tv.kozoom.com. Each of the 20 tables will be shown.

All results, schedules, daily press releases, photos and further information about the event can be found on the official media page.

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