HÀ NỘI — Trần Quyết Chiến proved why he’s the world number 3 in three-cushion carom after bettering Nguyễn Đức Anh Chiến in an all-Vietnamese final at Hà Đông Gymnasium on May 22.
Despite being one of the best carom players, this is the first SEA Games gold medal for Chiến as this category is rarely held at the SEA Games.
The final got off to a very even start with both players closely following each other on every point.
However, against one of the world’s best, Anh Chiến couldn’t keep his momentum and missed a few tough shots when the match was getting more intense.
And that Quyết Chiến left his compatriot far behind as the 38-year-old showed his class, scoring consecutive points to take a big 31-16 lead.
Anh Chiến’s massive late effort helped the world top 20 player to narrow the gap to 35-24 before Quyết Chiến sealed the final with five world-class shots to be crowned the champion.
With his first SEA Games title, Trần Quyết Chiến became the second Vietnamese player to win the SEA Games in this category after Nguyễn Quốc Nguyện’s gold in 2011.
On his way to the final, Quyết Chiến had a once–of–a–lifetime opportunity when he faced the legendary Efren “Bata” Reyes.
After surpassing the Filipino pool master with a score of 40-10, Chiến knelt before Reyes with respect, creating one of the best images of sportsmanship at this year’s Games.
Quyết Chiến is currently the top 3 player in the world with his most outstanding achievement being the 2018 World Cup title in Hồ Chí Minh City. He is considered one of the most difficult players to beat in three-cushion carom.
Despite losing in the final, Nguyễn Đức Anh Chiến, who ranks in the world’s top 20 and was a World Championship finalist in 2019, was able to show his class and will be a contender in the next Games.