Temperatures hovered around a humid but sunny 95°F (35°C)
both days of the championship, and the Barlow GTs seemed reluctant to part
company with the
hoops, but with plenty of barley tea in the shelter at Tokyo's Show
Memorial Park, the players persevered and finished the tournament in
generally good condition.
Play on Saturday paired each team with two others from
among the five teams contesting the title. Games were limited to 100
minutes. The top four teams were seeded into a semifinal ladder on
Sunday for two two-hour games each. The top finisher in Saturday's
play met the third-place finisher in the semis, and went on to meet the
winner of the contest between the second- and fourth-place
The most distinguished play of the weekend came from
Northey, who in his second game on Saturday ran a break of 11 hoops
while peeling his partner ball twice, then concluded by pegging his own
ball out and granting contact to his opponents, who stepped onto the
court for the final turn of the game needing to run a 3-ball break
through ten hoops to the peg while performing four peels of partner in
order to win. Yes, it was possible; no, position was not obtained for
the first of the hoops required. The final score was 18 - 4.
|Former Australian champion and 1998 Japan Open Doubles
champion Blaise Northey. (Photo by P. Dunn)
Northey made a similar run granting contact in the final game of the
tournament, but left two balls in the jaws of 2 and 4 instead of
pegging out. Against more distinguished opponents, Northey's play
might have been considered less than ideal, but his offerings tested
the capacities of the still-improving Japanese to the
Results for Saturday, 7/4/98
Northey/Mitsui beat Nozaki/Naka 5-1
Northey/Mitsui beat Dunn/Matsumoto 18-4
Yamada/Kushida beat Tanaka/Yoshimura 12-7
Nozaki/Naka beat Yamada/Kushida 11-7
Dunn/Matsumoto beat Tanaka/Yoshimura 14-8
Results for Sunday, 7/5/98
Northey/Mitsui beat Nozaki/Naka 6-5
Yamada/Kushida beat Dunn/Matsumoto 13-11.
Third Place Match:
Dunn/Matsumoto beat Nozaki/Naka 16-9.
Northey/Mitsui beat Yamada/Kushida 16-12.
|Winners Blaise Northey and Atsushi Mitsui (from left to right) and Second
Place finishers Kazuo Kushida and Toshio Yamada. (Photo by T. Nozaki.)