The line-ups for the five gold medal matches at the 2023 World Abilitysport Games snooker event have been set following a dramatic day at the Centara Hotel, Nakhon Ratchasima.
Following a hectic opening day, Wednesday saw the conclusion of the round-robin group stages of five events, followed by the best of five semi-finals in Thailand. The winners of each semi-final are now guaranteed either a gold or silver medal, with the semi-final losers set to contest a bronze medal playoff match in each classification group.
The Group 1 final will be contested by a pair of former WDBS ranking event champions as Gary Swift of Great Britain takes on Kurt Deklerck of Belgium in the first final to be held on Thursday.
Having already met in the initial group stage – which saw Deklerck claim a 2-1 win – the pair will now face off in a best of five frames finale.
Host nation Thailand are guaranteed a medal from the tournament, however, as Numpol Thongpusawan will take on Chatchai Khamklon in the bronze place playoff.
In Group 2, Tony Southern recovered from a dramatic black-ball defeat to Wei-Te Cheng in his final group stage match to book his place in the title match, where he will take on Thailand’s Niwat Kongta in the final.
In the semi-finals, Southern scored a comfortable 3-0 success against home player Surasit Loisaratrakul, while Kongta defeated Cheng of Chinese Taipei 3-1 to secure an emotional victory as he broke down in tears having qualified for the final.
Two-time UK Disability Snooker champion Adam Wilk of Poland will face Thailand’s Thaapol Seekao for gold in Group 3 after the pair each underlined their status as group winners by winning their respective semi-finals.
Wilk made it nine frames from nine so far this week following a 3-0 success against Andy Lam of Hong Kong in the semi-finals, while Seekao recovered from the loss of his first frame of the tournament against compatriot Kaisorn Thongla to guarantee a medal with a 3-1 win.
Former WDBS champions Carl Gibson and David Church will face-off in the Group 4 gold medal match following victories against Steve Cartwright and Nigel Brasier respectively in the last four.
Two-time ranking event winner Gibson needed just 35 minutes to score a 3-0 success against Cartwright, while second ranked Church scored a 3-1 win against an opponent who also pushed him all the way during the round-robin stage.
Reigning WDBS Hull Open champion Gerdy Dupont will face Thailand’s Songkiat Raebankoo in the final of Group 5 which is set to take place on Thursday evening.
Belgian Dupont confirmed his place in the final with a 3-0 win against David Moore – having dropped just one frame during the tournament so far. Opponent Raebankoo meanwhile saw off two-time WDBS champion David Bolton 3-1 to become the third Thai player through to a gold medal match tomorrow.
All five finals will be broadcast live via the WDBS Facebook page and World Abilitysport YouTube channel throughout the final day of the tournament, with the bronze medal matches to take place on adjacent tables. Follow all tournament information via WPBSA SnookerScores.