‘Greek gladiator conquers the Colosseum’ Nikos wins World 3 Cushion Survival… first ever world title

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for 25 years. It’s been a long time without a win, and it’s been hard, but I’ve never given up.”

Greece’s ‘powerhouse’ Nikos broke through to become the first ever world champion.

Presented by Africa TV, Five & Six and UMB (World Carom Federation), Nikos Polychronopoulos (Greece, ranked 13th in the world) topped the 2023 World 3 Cushion Survival Final on Tuesday night at the Vita500 Coliseum in Jamsil, Seoul, with 76 points.

With three runner-up finishes and three third-place finishes in the previous three Cushion World Cups, Nikos has consistently placed in the top half of the world rankings, but hasn’t won a title. In April, he teamed up with Kostantinos Kokoris of Greece to take the top spot at the European Championships. However, that was a continental European event, and he has yet to win a world title.

However, with his victory at the top of the tournament, Nikos won his first world title in more than 25 years of billiards.

Kim Jun-tae (12th, Kyungbuk Sports Federation), the only Korean player to make the final, finished in fourth place with 24 points. Second and third place went to Typhoon Tasdemir (7th, Turkiye) and Daobanli (Vietnam), who scored 72 and 68 points, respectively.

The total prize pool for the tournament was $280,000, with $50,000 (approximately $671,000) going to the winner, $20,000 ($2,686) to the runner-up, $16,500 ($2,155) to the third place finisher, $15,000 ($1,813) to the fourth place finisher, and $3,000 ($403) to the 17th place finisher.

The final match was a hard-fought affair, with no clear winner until the very end.

In the first half, Vietnam’s Daobanli, the breakout star of the tournament, led the group with 57 points, followed by Nikos (37), Typhoon (25) and Kim Jun-tae (1).

However, the second half of the match was a back-and-forth affair, with the game changing frequently. Nicos scored 18 points at the start of the second half to move into first place with 83 points. Not to be outdone, Daobanli added 12 points in the second inning to reclaim the lead with 87 points.

In the fourth inning, the game swung even further. After Daobanli batted first, Nicos added 21 points to move to the top of the group with 92 points. Typhoon followed up with a 10-point high run to close in on second-place Daobanli (68) with 64 points.

A late-game explosion saw Typhoon creep into second place. In the fifth inning, with both Nicos and Daobanli batting, Typhoon added 18 points to move into second place with 80 points, behind Nicos (84). Daovanli (60 points) dropped to third.

In the final six innings, Kim “Sungong” Jun-tae added 12 points but could only manage 24 points to secure fourth place in the group, as Typhoon (72 points) and Nikos (76 points) both went blank.

Last in the batting order, Daobanli added 12 more points with four kills to take the score to 68, putting pressure on Typhoon and Nicos, but the fifth attack fell short to secure third place in the group.

“I waited 25 years for this moment. There were a lot of hard times, but I always challenged myself and never gave up. There are no words to describe how I feel right now, except that I’m so happy,” said the overwhelmed Nicos.

“Now that I’ve finally won my first world title, I’m hungry to win many more. I will continue to challenge for the world title.” 토토사이트

Nicos had a tough road to this victory. After finishing last in Group C in the first round of the competition, he battled through the first round of the consolation bracket to finish second in his group, before narrowly defeating Burkei Karakurt (Turkiye) in the second round of the consolation bracket to advance to the second round of the competition. Nikos finished second in Group A and advanced to the semifinals as the runner-up in Group B. He then finished second in the final.