Predator WPA World Junior Championships to hold in Austria

Preparations are in their final stages for the upcoming Predator WPA World Junior Championships, set to unfold in Klagenfurt, Austria later this month. This tournament marks the emergence of the next wave of global pool talent, vying to etch their names into the prestigious annals of billiards.

Scheduled from October 19 to 22, the championships will feature three divisions: Under-19 Boys, Under-17 Boys and Girls. Remarkably, past victors in all three divisions have gone on to secure multiple World Championships, solidifying this event’s reputation for grooming future champions.

Dating back to 1992, this championship has historically focused on a different discipline. However, this year, 10-ball will take the spotlight for the first time. Over the years, illustrious players like Ko Pin-Yi, Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, and Fedor Gorst have clinched the title in the Boys divisions. Meanwhile, the Girls division has its own rich history, boasting champions like Kristina Tkach, Chezka Centeno, and Jasmin Ouschan since its inception in 2004.

Jasmin Ouschan, a former champion herself, has not only clinched gold at the World Games but has also been crowned the World Women’s 10-Ball Champion. Her influence extends to hosting the Jasmin Ouschan Billiard Academy, housed at Klagenfurt Sports Park, this year’s host venue.

In the previous edition held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Karl Gnadeberg of Estonia secured victory in the Boys Under-17 category. This year, he ascends to the Under-19 division, although the defending champion of that division, Szymon Kural of Poland, has aged out.

The Girls title holder, Xin Yu Hong from Chinese Taipei, is geared up to defend her title in Austria. Last year, she received immense support from her compatriots during the Medalla Light Puerto Rico Open, and this year too, she can expect a similar show of support, given the strong Chinese Taipei representation in the concurrent Predator WPA World 10-Ball Women’s Championship and Predator WPA World 8-Ball Men’s Championship, both slated for the third week of October.

Hong, reflecting on her win in 2022, expressed her joy and warmth at having the entire Chinese Taipei team backing her. She is eager to defend her title and continue her winning streak.

In terms of participation, there will be 32 players in both the Girls and Boys Under-17 divisions, and 16 players in the Boys Under-19 competition. Predator, the title sponsor, is generously covering accommodation expenses for all participants in the World Junior Championships.

Additionally, Klagenfurt will also host the Predator WPA World 8-Ball Men’s Championship (17-22 October) and the Predator WPA World 10-Ball Women’s Championship (19-22 October). The Women’s Championship will offer a significantly increased champion’s prize of $45,000, making it the most lucrative individual prize in women’s pool. Likewise, the winner of the 96-player World 8-Ball Men’s Championship will also see a substantial increase in the prize, taking home $75,000—up from the $60,000 prize in 2022.

These exciting events are made possible with the support of the city of Klagenfurt and the region of Carinthia, along with contributions from the Jasmin Oushan Billiard Academy, Richwert Promotions, and key partners in the Pro Billiard Series—Predator, CSI, and Kamui.

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