The top young pool talents from around the world have gathered for the WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships, underway in Johannesburg, South Africa. This is a historical landmark for billiards, as it the first time a world pool championship in pool has taken place in Africa. Read on for the report from the BEF (Billiard Education Foundation) on the progress of the players representing North America.
WPA World Junior Championships Underway
April Larson Starts off Strong
December 9, 2013 (Englewood, CO): The 22nd Annual WPA World Junior & Wheelchair 9-Ball Championships kicked off December 8th at the Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa with the traditional opening ceremony. 46 of the top junior players from across the world (31 boys and 15 girls), representing 22 countries from 6 continents are in top form, each gunning for the prestigious world title.
Of the 7 U.S. and 3 Canadian players representing the North American team this year, 13-year-old April Larson of Bloomington, Minnesota led the pack with a 6-5 victory against reigning girls world champion, Kamila Khodajeva of Begium. Canada’s Kayla Roloson and David Moyer also earned first-round victories. Tyler Styer escaped a first found hill-hill match while 17-year-old Nick Evans had a convincing 8-3 win against a local South African player.
In an unfortunate first round draw between Americans, 14-year-old Sergio Rivas of Wisconsin matched up against BEF veteran, 18-year-old Brendan Crockett. Rivas got the best of that match but Crockett plans to return strong. This will be the final opportunity for both Crockett and Styer to be eligible to compete in the World Junior Championships.
The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) was formed in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity committed to promoting a lifelong love of pool and building the next generation of players through youth programs and academic scholarships. The BEF also produces the annual Junior National 9-Ball Championships and qualifies young players each year for the WPA World Junior Championships.