European Championships, Germany

The GB Team consisting of myself, Aslam Abubaker, Matt Duffy, Danny Luton and captain Tony Southern, arrived in Brandenburg (Germany), all with high hopes of winning several medals at these prestigious championships.

Although in the end the team came home with 5 bronze medals, they were ultimately left disappointed with 5 semi final losses for the team.

High quality matches and dramatic decisions characterize the wheelchair competition, with many outstanding players, but the man to beat again was multiply gold medalist Jouni Tahti (Finland) who started as favorite in all 3 events.

8-Ball

In the 8 ball Division, 4 of the 5 brits made it to the quarterfinals, with the only casualty being the former 8-ball silver medalist Tony Southern who lost to the vastly improved Eduard Karamatic from Croatia 5-2.

Only 1 GB player reached the semi finals, the all-time favorite and multiple European Champion Jouni Tahti (FIN) had no problems in whitewashing Aslam Abubaker (GBR) 6:0, Aslam earning team GB’s first medal of the event.

The other semi-final was closer but in the end Kurt Deklerck (BEL) was victorious over Fred Dinsmore (IRL).

Tahti then defeated reigning champion Deklerck in the final 5-1.

9-Ball

Onto the 9 ball, and there was disappointment again, as both GB players, Southern and Kimberley lost in the semi finals, earning further bronze medals for team GB.

Southern lost 7-5 to Tahti, whilst Kimberley lost to old adversary Larsson.

In the final, Henrik Larsson (SWE) became the 2011 European 9-ball champion. He defeated Jouni Tahti (FIN) with 7:6. 

10-ball

In the 10 ball division, Team GB again had 2 players in the semi finals, but where left somewhat disappointed with a 2nd bronze medal for Kimberley and Abubaker as they lost to Tahti and Larsson.

The final was pretty clear-cut. Tahti bowled over Larsson with a clear 5:1 victory. It was the two dominating wheelchair players of the week meeting in the “ultimate” final. 

The Dynamic European Championships have drawn a huge amount of media attention throughout the entire 10 days. Many media representatives from TV, radio, print and Internet media have covered the European Championships. The highlight was probably the 3 matches in the men’s 9-ball division that were covered LIVE by Eurosport, broadcasting to 58 nations worldwide.

The arena saw between 150 and 300 spectators each day, watching the action in the Stahlpalast arena in Brandenburg.

Roll on the 2012 European championships in Luxembourg.