The 2018 World Cup of Pool comes to Luwan Arena, Shanghai from Tuesday, May 15 until Sunday, May 20. Bringing together the world’s best players in 32 two-man teams, the World Cup of Pool is one of 9-ball’s biggest events with a prize fund of $250,000. Austria are the defending champions, having defeated USA in the final in London last year, while hosts China will be hoping to recapture the title they have previously won in 2007 and 2010.
On the eve of World Cup of Pool, we catch up with the Australian partnership of Justin Sajich and James Delahunty at City Heroes pool centre in Sydney. Both experienced cuesport veterans with National Title holders in pool the lads will have a good opportunity to rise to the occasion in Shanghai. No team from Australia has managed to get past the 1st round, this will add a bit more pressure to the team as they strive to break the drought. James is an Adelaide based player who has competed twice in this event and Justin is a Sydney based player, for him it will be his first foray into this arena.
Both the boys were part of the 2016 World 8 Ball Championship team, so they have felt the pressure, lights, and are good friends on and off the table. Will this be enough to get them across the line vs the very talented Russian partnership 15th seeds – Rushlan Chinahkov and Fedor Gorst. Their opponents are very accomplished and would be tipped as the favorites in this match up, but the format can really change things up with race to 7 and winner breaks, its anyone’s game. I think it all comes down to breaking well, who best deals with the conditions like shot clock and TV cameras and good communication between the players. The Australian partnership travel to Shanghai on 13th May, the tournament begins 15th May and the Aussies will play Russia on Thursday 17th at 13:30 local time.
We would like to acknowledge that “Young Gun” Danny Stone was Justin’s partner in the Australian qualifying event which they won, due to the expected birth of his 1st baby when the event is held, Danny had to withdraw from the event for obvious reasons. We have no doubt that we will see Danny Stone, one of Australia’s best cuesport talents on the winner’s podium again and we wish him and his partner all the best for their new arrival.
Justin and James have been able to secure some sponsorship and support from CueWorld, Predator Cues, Ultimate Team Gear, and Cueism via local event fundraiser to help them in their preparation for the adventure that awaits them. Good luck lads, we know that all your Diamond League friends and followers will be taking an extended lunch break on that Thursday to cheer you on.