World-class billiards returns to Palácio da Bolsa
Twelve years later, Palácio da Bolsa in Porto will host some of the best billiards players in the world. As of this Thursday, the 62nd European Three-cushion Championship will be played at the Pátio das Nações (Hall of Nations) within the historic building, organized by both the Portuguese Billiards Federation and FC Porto. The presentation took place this Tuesday, including the presence of the FC Porto President, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa.
"The president of the European confederation stressed the desire of returning to Palácio da Bolsa, as the success of the European Championship back in 1999, in terms of organization and attraction for all the participants, was not forgotten. 22 countries will be represented, in what will prove to be a true Hall of Nations. The Porto inhabitants will undeniably be proud of having this lovely place being broadcast to various countries. I have total confidence in FC Porto’s organization and hopefully in the end, both participants and foreign journalists will state, as in previous years, that this championship was even better than the last", affirmed Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa.
FC Porto's president further mentioned the long list of competitions where the club played host, particularly as of 1994. "There's no equivalent curriculum in the whole world. The scenario has been set up, we have great athletes and we will most certainly have a great championship", declared Alípio Jorge, vice president and director of the Dragons’ billiards section.
Rui Moreira, Chairman of the Porto Commercial Association, thanked FC Porto in choosing Palácio da Bolsa: "It was with great pleasure that we received the invitation in joining the event. The Hall of Nations seems more than appropriate for this event. Billiards has both a playful and visual side among tourists, especially since the championship will take place without closing the Palace."
The competition counts for the European and World rankings and will run as follows: eight groups of four players (best of three sets), with the top two players in each group qualifying for the round of 16. The final picture will be played with the best of five sets and with a direct knock over, through a 50-second time limit for each shot. The wild cards were awarded to Daniel Sanchez, World champion and FC Porto captain, and Paulo Andrade, the national champion. Dutch player Dick Jaspers defends the title he won in 2010.