Johansson Regains Swedish Championship

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Jim Johansson claimed his country’s most prestigious domestic snooker title for the second time in his career when he won the 2023 Swedish National Snooker Championship last month. 

The Kiruna-based cueist – who has also been the Championship’s runner-up on seven occasions between 2009 to 2021 – regains the trophy following his maiden triumph in 2007.

The finalists stand either side of the referee and in front of the trophies which are on the table.

Organised by the Swedish Billiard Federation and sponsored by TAOM, a total of 58 players from across the country featured during this year’s four-day event. Q-Tour event venue Snookerhallen in the capital city of Stockholm was the host, although due to a power outage in the region during Thursday’s qualifying rounds, the Sollentuna venue also stepped in to hold matches.

Eight players emerged from the qualifying portion to join the 24 seeds for the main stages of the tournament.

Johansson won his opening match but then lost to Henrik Svedstedt 3-0, meaning he went to the losers’ side where he defeated Tom Joyce 3-0 to reach the knockouts. The 44-year-old then saw off Shivan Mohammed Ali 4-1 and Sirajuddin Hassan 4-0 in the last 16 and quarter-finals respectively before top scoring with a 54 break in the semi-finals as got the better of Morgan Högren 5-2 to reach the title tie.

Svedstedt – the 2018 champion – made the knockout rounds following the aforementioned victory against Johansson in the double elimination phase. After wins in the last 16 and last eight, Svedstedt dethroned the reigning 12-times champion Kevin Zarekani 5-3 in the last four. 

In the best-of-11 frames final, Svedstedt secured the opening frame and Johansson deposited the second to level. However, the contest was sadly cut short as Svedstedt conceded the match due to a shoulder injury that was also present during his semi-final earlier in the day. 

An unfortunate ending to the competition but Johansson was declared the champion and he completed a unique season double having also won the Swedish Seniors Championship in the previous month following a 4-2 success against Andy Nettleton in the final.

Elsewhere on the Swedish snooker scene, Walter Laikre ousted Nils R Manjer 4-3 in the final to become the national under-21 champion.

Jim Johansson shakes hands with an official and holds the trophy.

The two images in the main body of text above are courtesy of the Swedish Billiard Federation