Category: Belgian Open
World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) returned to Belgium for the second staging of the WDBS Belgian Open last weekend.
Held at the Trickshot club in Bruges, the event attracted entries from the UK, Belgium and India with a variety of physical disabilities to compete for the latest silverware on the WDBS Tour.
England’s Tony Southern claimed his long-awaited first WDBS title following a 5-2 success against defending champion Kurt Deklerck from Belgium to win the Groups 1-2 wheelchair tournament.
The opening day saw both players claim back-to-back wins in a four-player group stage, Southern notably earning a deciding-frame victory against Shahab Siddiqui on the colours to ensure that he would progress to the title match.
With the final round-robin match between the pair effectively a dead match, the pair were given the opportunity to contest an extended best-of-nine frame final to decide the champion.
It would prove to be a final full of drama with each of the opening two frames being settled on the final black, with the scoreline progressing to 2-2 at the mid-session interval.
From there however it would be all Southern as he edged two close frames to move one away from the title at 4-2 up, before sinking a tournament-high break of 42 in what would prove to be the final frame to take home the gold medal.
While there was a new winner crowned in the wheelchair competition, the Groups 4-5 event for players with ambulant disabilities saw a familiar face emerge victorious as Daniel Blunn claimed a record eighth WDBS title.
Having dropped one frame in the group stages to David Moore, Blunn progressed to the final with knockout victories against Olivier Biernaux and David Church, the latter in a repeat of last year’s final in Belgium.
There he would face India’s Raja Subramanian, himself a two-time WDBS champion and competing in his first competition since the 2016 Open Disability Snooker Championship. Previously undefeated in WDBS play, Subramanian maintained his flawless record by coming through the round-robin stage without the loss of a frame, before defeating Gunter D’Hondt and Welshman Ben Rawson to set up a clash of the titans in the final.
As with the wheelchair final, the decisive match would initially prove to be a closely contested affair, Blunn taking each of the first two frames on the pink to move two ahead with a possible three to play.
Ultimately however the 27-year-old from Sutton Coldfield would save his best until last, dominating the third and final frame with a top break of 35 to seal his third consecutive WDBS title following previous wins at the Northern Classic and Champion of Champions tournaments.
Blunn also made the high-break in his classification group with an excellent run of 55 during his quarter-final match.
The Challenge Cup competition for players not qualified for the knockout rounds was contested between Danielle Findlay and Phil Woodwiss. Although Woodwiss was competing in his second Challenge Cup final in the space of a month following success at the Northern Classic, as in 2018 it would prove to be Findlay’s day as she repeated her success from last March with a 2-0 victory.
Once again WDBS would like to thank club owner Olivier Vandenbohede and his team at The Trickshot for their generous hospitality during the three-day event. We would also like to thank all of the players who made the trip to Bruges as WDBS continues to expand outside of the UK.
View full tournament results from the main competition via MySnookerStats here.
View event photos at our Facebook page here.
View the updated WDBS Roll of Honour here.
Entries are now being accepted for this year’s Belgian Open which returns to The Trickshot, Bruges following a successful first staging of the event last March.
The event will run from 8-10 March and begin with a practice day for people with any disabilities to come and try snooker, prior to a two-day tournament for people with physical disabilities (ambulant and wheelchair groups 1-5).
The venue is fully accessible and based in the centre of the historic city of Bruges. We would once again like to extend our thanks to owner Olivier Vandenbohede and his team for their hospitality and support with the event.
As was the case in 2018 we have agreed a special rate with the Hotel Velotel Bruges for people who will be competing in the event as follows:
- Single room incl. breakfast €65.00 (+ €2.12 city tax per night)
- Double room incl. breakfast €75.00 (+ €2.12 city tax per night)
- Upgrade to superior room: + €25.00 Free pa
The rate will be available from 07/03/2019 – 11/03/2019 and to reserve a room players should contact George Edwards and confirm:
- Which nights are required
- Whether a double or twin room is required
- If an accessible room is required
Please note that rooms are limited, so interested players are urged to contact George as soon as possible to avoid missing out.
Learn more about the hotel at their website.
Following our successful first WDBS event in Belgium earlier this year we are delighted to be returning The Trickshot, Bruges from 8-10 March 2019 for the Belgian Open (G1-5) competition.
To assist as many people as possible from the UK to travel for the event we are considering running a coach service from the UK to Bruges and back. This will be part-funded by money kindly donated to WDBS, including by Nigel Coton and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.
For us to determine whether this would be possible and to choose the best service available, we would be grateful to receive expressions of interest from players by completing and returning the linked form to us by 18th January 2019
- The coach would leave the UK on the morning of Friday 8 March 2019.
- The return trip would leave Belgium on Monday 11 March 2019.
- The trip would be part-funded by WDBS with a contribution of a proposed maximum of £60.00 from each player
- Subject to space availability, there may be an option for each player to bring one guest on the coach. The guest would pay for their place in full with a proposed maximum cost of: £120.00
- We expect that there would be a maximum capacity of 30-35 people on the coach.
- To help us decide whether the coach should leave the UK from please indicate your preferred location.