June 5-8 2008
Florange in Lorraine hosted this year’s European Championship. I benefitted from a good draw and could beat all my opponents 2-0. Curiously, in my first match, my old friend Ari Fagerström from Finland made his come-back after 23 years of absence. In the group final the dangerous Frenchman Jeremy Bury made good resistance still not playing at his best. During the 1/8 finals averages stepped up, mine to 2.12 against my teammate and practice partner Martin Horn (3-1).
Roland Forthomme and Dick Jaspers won their quarter-final matches. Marco Zanetti, who had beaten strong playing Bury by the narrowest of margins (15-14 in the fifth), now won against Jean- Christophe Roux, another Frenchman, 3-1. My match against Peter De Backer turned into a real battle after I had missed a match-point in the fourth set. In the end of the last set, which ended 15-13 for me, table and balls became very difficult and it was a great relief when the match was over.
Dick Jaspers quickly disposed of Forthomme 3-0 with 3.214. I won a difficult match against Zanetti where both of us seemed to have problems adjusting to the table.15-5, 9-15, 15-10, 15-9 the score and averages 1.35 against 1.00.
After two sets my average was 5.000! 2-0 the score was… for him! Dick had one of those days where he could not miss. Averaging 3.000 I could only congratulate Dick with his new title, the world record 5.625 and the run of 34 straight points! He ran out with 13 in the first, then made the second set in one inning and started with six in the third.