Finland’s Jani Kananen claimed his maiden Nordic Snooker Championship title last weekend at the Copenhagen Pool and Snooker House.
This annual five-day event brought together top players from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Organised by the Nordic Billiard Council, countries take it in turns to host the championship; this year that honour was with the Danish Billiards Union.
The 40 cueists who entered the tournament were initially split into eight round-robin groups of five, with the top two from each group qualifying for the last 16 knockouts. A player from each nation was put in every group.
Kananen – who is the also the current Finnish national champion – came top of Group G after recording four wins from four. In the knockout phase the 44-year-old defeated Martin Søndergaard (Denmark) 4-0, Chi Voong (Sweden) 4-0 and then Audun Risan Heimsjø (Norway) 4-3 to secure a spot in his first Nordic final.
Sharing the title match with Kananen was reigning champion and home star Daniel Kandi. Also the current and seven-times Danish national champion, Kandi reached his third consecutive final in this event following a 4-2 semi-final victory over Swedish national champion Simon Lindblom. However, in a topsy-turvy final where there was never more than a frame in it, Kananen was not to be denied the glory as he coolly sank the final blue and pink in the deciding frame to triumph.
Norway will host the championship in 2021.
Audun Risan Heimsjø 4-1 Suleman Kukka-Salam
Chi Voong 0-4 Jani Kananen
Daniel Kandi 4-1 Esa Kaikumaa
Jim Johansen 2-4 Lindblom
Heimsjø 3-4 Kananen
Kandi 4-2 Lindblom
Kananen 5-4 Kandi
Highest Break: Daniel Kandi (105)