Online Tournament Coverage

Land Of The Rising Sons
by Mike Panozzo Jul 19, 2002, 2:32 PM EST

Former world champion Takeshi Okumura is one of two Japaense players already through to the final eight.

Japan has assured itself at least two represetatives in the quarterfinals at the 2002 Hasseroder World Pool Championship, with Hiroshi Takenaka still waiting to play Friday evening.

Former world champions Takeshi Okumura and Kunihiko Takahashi plodded their ways to victory Friday afternoon in Cardiff. Okumura, who won the title in '94, defeated Lu-Kung Hung of Chinese Taipei, 11-5, in a match that saw Hung complain about the Japanese star's slow-playing tactics. Takahashi, meanwhile, broke to an 8-2 lead against Dutchman Alex Lely, then held on for an 11-8 win. Takahashi will face the winner of the Earl Strickland/Jeremy Jones U.S. clash, while Okumura will face Sweden's Marcus Chamat. Chamat upended Canadian Alex Pagulayan, 11-7.

In Friday's last afternoon match, American Johnny Archer repeated his 1997 WPA World Championship win over Kun-Fang Lee of Chinese Taipei. Archer, reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since the world tournament moved to Cardiff, posted an uneasy, if lopsided, 11-5 win.

"It wasn't a momentum match," said Archer. "I had to play a lot of safeties, but I was able to maintain control of the table.

"Still, it's a sad day" Archer said, referencing the jolting morning news from Manila that Filipino star Francisco Bustamante's six-month-old daughter had died. "Winning isn't what matters right now. Our hearts are out to Francisco and his family."

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