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Pool / 2016 European Championships

​2nd-12th April 2016 / Sporthotel Alpina, St Johann im Pongau, Austria,


The 2016 Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships consisted of a staggering 650 Men, Women and Wheelchair entrants battling it out for continental gold across the 8,9,10 Ball, Straight and Team competitions. 

The 11 day festival began with Straight Pool action.

It would be a near dream start for the host nation, Austria, who saw brother and sister combination of Albin and Jasmin Ouschan take gold in this discipline.

It was Albin's first European gold medal at adult level (he'd claimed four as a youth). He came through the qualifying section unbeaten after having to play just one match and then enjoyed comfortable victories over Christian Graser and Ivo Aaarts in the Last 64 and 32 respectively.

After more trying wins in his next two games, he would then dethrone defending champion Nick van Den Berg (Holland) 125-66 in the semi-finals before completing a perfect 125-0 win in the gold medal meeting with Russia's Konstantin Stepanov.

Mateusz Sniegocki (Poland) was the other bronze medal recipient.

​In the 10 Ball division, Spain's David Alcaide regained the title he won in North Cyprus two years earlier.

Alcaide beat eight opponents from eight different countries on his route to a fourth European gold.

Emerging easily from double elimination qualifying unbeaten, in the knockout section he beat Ouschan 8-6 in the Last 32.

He defeated Portugal's Miguel Silva 8-2 in the semis before holding his nerve in ousting Petri Makkonen (Finland) 8-7 in the final; making a fantastic bank shot on the 6 ball in the deciding rack.

The other bronze medallist was Mieszko Fortunski (Poland)

The German trio of Joshua Filler, Sebastian Staab and Ralf Souquet claimed top honours in the Team Event.

In earlier rounds they beat Slovenia 3-0, France 3-0, Portugal 2-0 and Sweden 2-0 in the Last 4.

They would face the Russian set-up of Ruslan Chinakhov, Maksim Dudanets and Stepanov in the final; they'd eliminated Finland (Makkonen, Markus Juva & Kim Laaksonen) 2-0 previously. 

Youngster Filler lost a hill hill 8-7  in 10 Ball to Chinakhov, but Staab beat Dudanets 8-4 in the 8 Ball and Souquet saw off Stepanov 9-7 in the 9 Ball for a 2-1 overall victory.

Back to singles play in the 8 Ball competition, there was a surprise winner in Ukraine's Vitaliy Patsura, who showed great composure during a number of tense and tight finishes.

Just 18 years old, Patsura had exhibited his talent before in the Youth Championships where he picked up seven different honours.

Similar to Alcaide, the teenager got the better of seven different nationalities along the way. His path to gold included 8-7 wins over Marc Glatz (Luxembourg) in the L16, superbly over the reigning champion Niels Feijen (Holland) in the Quarters and Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (Spain) in the final.

He had other victories that were close too; a tremendous feat for one of the youngest winners of all time.

The Championships ended with the 9 Ball and saw another teen sensation in the form of Filler reach his maiden European adult final.

​However, after a number of bronze and silver finishes across various events in both junior and adult sections before himself, it was Spaniard Sanchez-Ruiz who would finally win a top honour with a 9-3 success over Filler.

Sanchez-Ruiz had actually lost to Chinakhov in qualifying, but would emerge through to the knockouts and eventually avenge that defeat by beating the Russian 9-6 in the semi-finals.

Filler extinguished Denis Grabe's (Estonia) hopes 9-5 in the semis. Grabe had also reached the same stage in the 8 Ball.

For more information, and the full results, please visit the European Pocket Billiards Federation's (EPBF) website here.

Written and published by Michael Day on the 14th April 2016