Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Trần Quyết Chiến finished in second place at the Guri Carom Billiards 3-Cushion World Cup in South Korea, which ended on September 4.
Chiến lost 30-40 to Jeremy Bury of France in the 20-inning final match, and earned a silver trophy, as well as a US$3,900 bonus from the organisers, and VNĐ320 million ($14,200) from Vietnamese sport bodies.
The Frenchman made it to the final with victories over Vietnamese Mã Xuân Cường (40-11 in 15), Belgian Eddy Merckx (40-23 in 22), Spanish Javier Palazón (40-34 in 22) and South Korean Cho Myung-woo (40-24 in 20).
Chiến earned a spot in the final with wins over South Korean Lee Choong-bok (40-30 in 25), Turkish Tayfun Tasdemir (40-21 in 14) and Swedish Torbjorn Blomdahl (40-40 in 18, shoot-outs 3-2) in the first knockout round.
Chiến, father of a daughter and with a second child on the way, had his most recognised moments during the semi-finals over veteran Dick Jasper of the Netherlands (40-24 in 23).
Jasper has always been an arch-rival to every Vietnamese cueist. Before the semis, the Dutchman believed he would earn a berth in the final match, claiming he has never lost to a Vietnamese player.
“In the recent HCM City World Cup, he defeated four athletes of the hosts in a row. This was the revenge for all the Vietnamese and a catharsis for our billiards,” said Chiến, still shaken from his winning performance in the semi-final.
In the Guri final, Chiến quickly lost the initiative 15-9 after a run of 10 by Bury in the second inning. Bury improved on his lead after the break, but Chiến recovered with a run of nine to make the score 31-27. In the home stretch though, Bury would not be denied.
However, Chiến successfully won 40-24 and became one of two finalists, which was the highest result for the country in nine years.
In 2007, Vietnamese Trần Chí Thanh also entered the final and earned a silver cup.
The silver trophy elevated Chiến to No 10 in the world and No 1 in Asia, the highest ranking in his career. — VNS