Japan Three Cushion Women's World ChampionshipHigashiuchi Wins Crown and Japan Sweeps Top Four Places

Natsumi Higashiuchi of Japan won the 2012 Women’s Three-Cushion World Championship held in Tokyo, Japan, tournament with a grand average of .753.

Japan also swept second, third and fourth places: Yuko Nishimoto (.773) finished second, followed by Ayaka Fukumoto (.690) and then Namiko Hayashi (.633). The final was particularly well played, with Higashiuchi besting Nishimoto 25-19 in 19 innings for a 1.315 average.

The two pre-tournament favorites, Therese Klompenhouwer (.690) of the Netherlands and Orie Hida of Japan (.826) finished 7th and 9th, respectively. Hida had the highest grand average of all players but was not able to advance out of her preliminary group, which included third-place finisher Hayashi and Karina Jetten of the Netherlands, who finished 6th with a .560 grand average.

Ester Park, the lone United States competitor, finished 4th in Group C and 11th overall. Park won one and lost two games and had a grand average of .476.

Sixteen players from seven countries competed. For more information, go to www.umb.org (under Calendar & Results). For additional stories, go to www.kozoom.com.