Torjborn Mlomdahl Wins 2015 UMB World Championship


Torbjörn Blomdahl beats King Kong for gold

Posted by Frits BAKKER on December 6, 2015

BORDEAUX РThe Swedish flag was projected on the big screen behind the podium of the Palais des Congr̬s in Bordeaux, in honor of a great champion. Torbj̦rn Blomdahl, who has won everything and is the world nr. 1, tried in vain for years to win another world gold. This Saturday evening, his long career found a new high when he beat Korean coming man Dong Koong Kang in the final of the World Championship: 40-40, then 2-1 in the shootout.

The 53-year old Scandinavian whirlwind, who is so good at playing the audience with his facial expressions, and almost has copyright on eccentric spin shots, kept stoicly calm as the title seemed to elude him once again.

The strategy in the final was mostly defensive. Few risks were taken, there were no high runs and the Korean had the slightly better start. After some ten innings he had built up a lead (17-8), and in spite of a mini-comeback by Blomdahl (runs of 8 and 4), he kept the initiative.

When the Swede was seriously trailing (37-22) and the audience became loud in an attempt to prolong the match, his opponent got nervous. Dong Koong Kang missed twice at important moments, but still got over the line first when he ran 2 and 1: 40-34.

As so often in this WC (Zanetti, Sanchez), the spectators were treated to a sensational equalizer. Blomdahl was cool as a cucumber: ,I hoped the break-off would give me position, and that happened”, he said later. ,,I could finish from there, and did it well.”

The shoot-out for the win went the Swede’s way. Dong Koong Kang made the break, had an easy round-the-table shot for his second, but hit it way too thin and missed.

Torbjörn Blomdahl felt on cloud nine. ,,The break is so easy here, it could not go wrong at that point.” His second and winning point was a spectacular one (short-long-long, hitting the same long rail twice) and it was executed to perfection.

The Swede’s arms went up, he bowed to the audience and enjoyed the cheers for minutes. The contrast was harsh: Dong Koong Kang was in his seat , looking forlorn. The Korean, who had won a first prize of 38.000 Euro in Seoul only weeks ago, was re-acquinted with loss and disappointment. It was touching to see how friends and fellow players comforted him.

Dong Koong Kang, nicknamed King Kong for his feared knock-outs, has a whole life ahead of him. The 35-year old player from Suwon lives like a pro in Korea, teaches three times a week or plays exhibitions in billiard rooms, and gets handsomely paid for it.

His nemesis in this tournament just keeps on winning: the Blomdahl era is not over yet. His lead in the world ranking just got a lot bigger. ,,They can go on hunting for me, for a while”, he smiled this Saturday evening, still holding the flowers from the award ceremony.


Torbjörn’s last world title dates back to 1997, when he beat Dutchman Raimond Burgman in the final in Grubbenvorst. Since then he has lost four finals: against Marco Zanetti, Frédéric Caudron, Dani Sánchez and last year against Sung-Won Choi. After this 2015 WC, a tremendous organizational success for Kozoom with filled stands, there is no doubt:  Torbjörn Blomdahl will be a force in global 3-cushion for years to come.

The final ranking of the WC in Bordeaux:

1 Torbjörn Blomdahl 1.764-9

2 Dong Koong Kang 1.621-11

3 Eddy Merckx 1.940-15

3 Dani Sánchez 1.817-12

5 Tayfun Tasdemir 1.870-12

6 Dick Jaspers 1.792-10

7 Ruben Legazpi 1.616-8

8 Sameh Sidhom 1.146-19

9 Frédéric Caudron 1.611-11

10 Jae Ho Cho 1.475-11

11 Jae Guen Kim 1.355-8

12 Adnan Yüksel 1.244-10.

The new world ranking:

1) Torbjörn Blomdahl 442

2) Dani Sanchez 319

3) Dick Jaspers 299

4) Eddy Merckx 281

5) Tayfun Tasdemir

6) Marco Zanetti 224

7) Dong Koong Kang 187

8) Roland Forthomme 181

9) Hyung-Bum Hwang 174

10) Sameh Sidhom 173

11) Jae Ho Cho 170

12) Frédéric Caudron 157

13) Tran Quyet Chien 152

14) Adnan Yüksel 151

15) Murat Naci Coklu 145

16) Jung Han Heo 144

17) Haeng-Jik Kim 143

18) Eddy Leppens 137

19) Riad Nady 130

20) Sung-Won Choï 127

21) Anh Vu Duong 106

22) Jérémy Bury 106

23) Chi Yeon Cho 104

24) Nikos Polychronopoulos 102

25) Jean-Paul de Bruijn 100.

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