Tag: Kurt Deklerck

Disability Snooker Success in Belgium

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.

Groups 1-2

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.

Groups 4-5

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.

Challenge Cup

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.

Joe Hardstaff plays snooker shot

Belgium Hosts Landmark WDBS Event

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) successfully staged its first-ever event outside of the UK last weekend in Belgium.

Held at The Trickshot in Bruges, the competition saw a mix of established WDBS players and local challengers come together for an event which represented another significant milestone for disability snooker globally.

There was a home victory in the wheelchair competition (Group 1-2) as Kurt Deklerck defeated Tony Southern 3-1 in the final to take the title.

Both players were in impressive form during the group stage, each winning three matches to progress to the showpiece match, but it was to be Deklerck’s day as the 22-time Belgian national champion emerged victorious to add his first WDBS crown to a personal CV which now boasts 114 snooker titles.

For the first time the event also saw a combined ambulant tournament staged for players from Groups 3-4, which saw Daniel Blunn come through to take a record fifth career WDBS event title with a 3-0 success against David Church.

Having dropped just one frame during the group stage, Blunn proved unstoppable in the knockout rounds as he underlined his position as the most successful WDBS player since the formation of the organisation back in 2015.

In the Challenge Cup competition for players who were unable to progress from the group stage of their respective competitions, there was a maiden victory for Danielle Findlay, who defeated Belgium’s Patrick Puttemans to take the gold medal.

The tournament was sponsored by 888lcd.co.uk, with all players and officials wearing the company logo on their waistcoats and branding prominently displayed around the venue. The event was also backed by the Hotel Velotel Bruges, which provided accommodation at a special rate for players competing in the event.

Club owner Olivier Vandenbohede and his team could not do enough to help the event and further support was also provided by leading World Snooker referee Olivier Marteel, who donned his white gloves to officiate during the weekend

The tournament also received extensive media support from IMG, who filmed a feature to be broadcast during the BBC’s coverage of this year’s professional World Championship next month, as well as regional news channel Focus WTV who interviewed players and officials during the weekend.

WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer QPM said: “We have been made to feel so welcome in the beautiful city of Bruges and were extremely impressed with the club and the support that we have received in staging this event.

“I would also like to thank everybody who has helped to make this event happen, with a special mention for one of our regular Group 7 players Robert Craft, who made the trip to referee, as well as Reg Davies who not only provided coaching during the weekend, but played a key role in identifying the club as a suitable venue for the tournament.

“Following the success of the weekend, we did not hesitate to agree for the WDBS Belgian Open to return to The Trickshot and so I am delighted to announce that the event will return on 8-10 March 2019.”

The next WDBS event will be the Paul Hunter Disability Classic for players with learning and sensory disabilities, to be held at the Cueball Derby on 18-20 May 2018. Entries for the event are now open, with full information and entry forms available HERE.

WDBS Heads to Belgium

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today delighted to announce the 2018 Belgian Open, the first WDBS competition to be held outside of the UK.

The landmark event will be staged at The Trickshot, a fully accessible venue home to 11 full-size snooker tables and located close to the centre of the historic city of Bruges, from 23-25 March 2018.

The main two-day tournament will be open to players with physical disabilities including ambulant and wheelchair users (WDBS Classification Groups 1-5). As with previous WDBS events, there will also be a free Friday open day held for people with any disabilities, with opportunities to practice and receive advice from qualified WPBSA World Snooker coaches.

Local support

Deklerck Wins 22nd National Title

The WDBS has received support from a number of key personalities involved with snooker in Belgium including World Snooker referee Olivier Marteel and also Kurt Deklerck, who has played wheelchair cuesports for over 40 years and earlier in 2017 won the Belgian National Wheelchair Snooker Championship for an unprecedented 22nd year in a row. He is also a four-time world disability snooker champion, winning the event in 1989, 1990 (twice) and finally 1994.

“I’m delighted to be part of this event that will be played in Belgium,” said Deklerck. “The last time an international snooker tournament for disabled people was organised was January 2005. For me it’s an honour to be an example to many other players. I hope they will see that this is a great opportunity to be part of something special.”

Further information

We are planning to offer a WDBS hotel deal, inclusive of one meal per day for players at the venue. Further information, including the full event entry form will be released in due course.

If you have any further questions in the meantime please contact us using our contact form.