The European Pocket Billiard Federation today announced its team to face the Americans during this year’s staging of the Atlantic Challenge Cup taking place July 8 – 11, 2016 in Schaumburg, Illinois (just outside Chicago).
“After the Europeans’ success during the 2015 inaugural Atlantic Challenge Cup, the Americans will have home soil advantage and will want revenge,” said David Morris, International Billiard Promotion Foundation president. “With that in mind, the Europeans have assembled a strong line up of players who have won at the highest level just to qualify for this year’s team.”
First onto the team comes Krystian Cwikla. It was the European gold in the 9-ball U19 division which ensured Poland’s top youth player a spot on the team. Poland’s Patryk Statkiewicz was part of last year’s winning team and will be able to offer Krystian plenty of advice on what to expect in Chicago.
Joining Krystian on the team is the Ukraine’s talented Vitaly Patsura who won the European U19 10-ball gold medal. This adds to his six bronze medals to date in his European youth career.
Andreas Madsen from Denmark makes the team through the highest eligible youth player on the European tour. A silver medal in the U19 European 9-ball championships is not a bad result either, only missing the gold medal by a rack after losing to Krystian 8-7 in the final.
Maxim Dudanets, is a young Russian player that the American team will remember from last year. Maxim makes another appearance due to his fine performance at the world championships by picking up the silver medal.
Completing the European team of six are the two girls. Like Maxim, Kristina Tkach, of Russia, will make her second appearance at the Atlantic Challenge Cup after winning 9-ball and 10-ball golds at the youth European championships. She is joined by Belgium’s Diana Khodjeava who won the gold in 8-ball and two silver medals, losing out only to Kristina on both occasions.
“The EPBF has clear and tough criteria on how to qualify for this team and there are no bag carriers here” said Morris. “We expect a tough few days but our players are already battle hardened and will be up for the fight come July the 8th.”
Press release issued by the co-sponsors: Billiard Congress of America and the European Pocket Billiard Federation.