Chris Melling has long been considered one of the premiere 8-ball players in the game of pocket billiards.
Twice he’s been crowned world English 8-ball champion and this year he finished second at the ICEA Chinese Pool World Championship. His unorthodox runout last year in the World Pool Series’ RYO Rack Classic that included a carom, a masse, and a three-rail bank shot has been viewed by millions on social media.
The Englishman once again showed off his proficiency at the discipline Wednesday evening at the 8-Ball Classic Championship, easily defeating Marc Bijsterbosch of the Netherlands 13-4 to advance to the quarterfinals at IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania.
Melling will face Wojciech Szewczyk in Thursday’s first quarterfinal, scheduled for noon local time. Szewczyk and Albin Ouschan played each other even through most of their round-of-16 match until Szewczyk won seven of the final nine racks to pull away and win, 13-9.
Albania’s Eklent Kaci also earned a spot in the quarterfinals by dominating the second half of a match, defeating Mario He, 13-8. Kaci jumped out to an early 4-1 lead but He battled back. Halfway through the match, the score was tied at seven until Kaci used a couple of breaks-and-runs as well as a few dry breaks and unforced errors by He to win six of the final seven games.
Kaci will play in the quarterfinal scheduled for 6 p.m. local time against Daniel Maciol, who needed a late rally to defeat Darren Appleton, 13-11. Appleton controlled the first half of the match, jumping out to a 10-5 lead in the race-to-13 format. He appeared positioned to increase the lead to 11-6 but left a ball hanging in the corner pocket’s jaws. That was the opening that Maciol needed, winning eight of the next nine to snatch the victory.
Other quarterfinal matches include Ioan Ladanyi versus Fedor Gorst at 3 p.m. local time and Thorsten Hohmann looking to avenge an earlier loss against Jayson Shaw at 9 p.m.
Ladanyi, the lone Romanian still alive in the tournament, took advantage of countless unforced errors from Ruslan Chinahov and cruised to a 13-6 victory in their round of 16 matchup. Meanwhile, Gorst had his hands full with Petri Makkonen of Finland, ultimately gutting out a 13-10 victory.
After suffering a lopsided 11-6 defeat at the hands of Shaw on the winner’s side earlier in the day, Hohmann bested Mieszko Fortunski, 11-8, and easily handled Alex Kazakis, 13-5 to advance to the final eight. Shaw reached the quarterfinals with an equally convincing 13-5 victory over Ciprian Gindac.
The 47-player double-elimination event was re-seeded and switched to a single-elimination format when the tournament was reduced to 16 remaining competitors. The action will conclude on Friday afternoon, with two semifinal matches followed by the race-to-17 finals later in the day.
The 8-Ball Classic Championship is the third event of the four-tournament 2018 World Pool Series. This event will be held at the IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania from August 7th to 10th 2018. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Rasson, Aramith, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Outsville, and the WPA.
For more information on the World Pool Series, please visit www.worldpoolseries.com.
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