2008 World Wheelchair 9 Ball ChampionshipBritain’s Danny Luton achieved a creditable bronze medal from the WPA World 9Ball Championships held in Tampa, Florida. The title went to Sweden’s Henrik Larsson while Ireland’s Fred Dinsmore took fourth place.  Players from all over the World gathered in the “Sunshine State”.However, after the double elimination, initial stages the field was reduced to the final eight: Charlie Hans and Kray Mims (both USA), Larsson, Luton, Dinsmore and Kurt deKlerck,(Belgium), Tankred Volkmer (Germany) and Takahiro Terada (Japan). Hans, ranked number one in  North America, had beaten Dinsmore 9-8 in the preliminary rounds. But his unbeaten run on the “no loss” side was cut short by European 8 Ball Champion Luton, who won 9-7. On the “one loss” side, Hans met two time US Open Champions Kurt deKlerck. DeKlerck played flawlessly to win 9-2 leaving his opponent tied for 5/6th place with Tankred Volkmer. Volkmer went down 9-3 against Larsson in the “no loss” side semi final. Volkmer was unable to recover his form in his next match and lost 9-4 to Dinsmore, Tha latter had defeated Japanese number one, Takahiro Terada, 9-6.  Terada finished the event tied for 7/8th place along with Kray Mims.  Mims currently ranked third in North America, was eliminated 9-3 by DeKlerck. In the “no loss” side bracket final. Larsson took on Luton and won 11-4. That guaranteed him at least a Silver medal while Luton was assured of third. Luton’s next opponent was determined by the outcome of the first semi final  between deKlerck and Dinsmore. Several times Dinsmore led by two but eventually was taken to a deciding rack.  Dinsmore skillfully ran down to the 9 Ball but then missed a 40 degree cut shot for the win.  deKlerck advanced to meer Luton. The Englishman battled well, however deKlerck secured an early lead and eventually finished an 11-4 winner. In the first to 13 final, Larsson established an ealy advantage and claimed a 13-5 success. Fran Crimi, WPA reresentative for the BCA, presented the medals plus colour co-ordinated Viking Cues (Gold, Silver, Bronze) custom engraved for the World Championships by Viking Cue Manufacturing inc.

Trevor Baxter, Cuesport Magazine, February 2008.