As the intensity of the Cape Metro Cue Sport under-23 8-ball singles finals brewed, Tafelsig’s Baden Poggenpoel and Strandfontein’s Rushin Daniels remained calm at the Pool International in Colorado on Saturday.
Of course, Poggenpoel and Daniels had all to play for in the final, as the winner would stand a chance to represent the country at an all paid for trip to the United Kingdom, where they will square off against the world’s best.
Lekker Jy’s Poggenpoel emerged victorious under the glare of the arcade room.
Chairperson of the Cape Metro Cue Sport, Hilton Adams said the winners now have a chance to play against others from all over South Africa.
From there, they need to qualify for the top 32 in the country so they can receive a fully paid trip to play against the world’s best in the ultimate challenge in the United Kingdom.
“The tournament has been good. There were 16 players in the seniors’ category (over 39) and 18 players in the under-23 singles category. They all want to be the number one player in the Cape Metro. After this one we give them the opportunity to play in the ultimate pool challenge,” he said.
The owner of Pool International, Adams said the competition was intense, all the players wanted to win. Players came from as far as the Boland.
“It’s not easy. Even to play against the players from the UK is like a dream come true. For many of our players they only get the opportunity to watch these guys on TV. And, here is a platform from our side making that dream come true. They must do their best and give their best,” said Adams.
The players are well oiled from grassroots level right until they are ready to compete at the highest level.
Adams said they sharpen their sticks under the development arm of Pool4Change, an organisation established in Mitchell’s Plain in 2018, that has pocketed schools across the country to become part of a project to promote cue sport among pupils.
“When the kids are good enough for a certain competitive level under Pool4Change they move into the mainstream and that is where the five regions and streams come in. They are from different areas but compete for top honours,” he said.
Spotted in the crowd, supporting the initiative, was top-ranked 8-Ball champion, Marchelino James, who has experience playing against the best from all over the world.
The players and organisers are now shifting the focus to this coming Saturday’s Open Singles event, scheduled to take place at the Ultimate Pool Centre, in Bellville South.
On Saturday December 2 and Sunday December 3, the Cape Metro will also host the club championships at the Pool International in Colorado.
For more information, contact Samantha at 082 698 5553 or Graham at 076 876 5884.