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Việt Nam top world of billiards

The new stronghold of Vietnamese billiard players has conquered the world of three-cushion at lightning speed.

Billiards

339187 vinh 1 | FDI Việt Nam
Bao Phương VInh of Việt Nam celebrates after winning the World National Teams Three-Cushion Championship early March 25, Hà Nội time, in Viersen, Germany. Photos of Kozoom

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s domination in the world of billiards reached new heights after winning the World National Teams Three-Cushion Championship on Sunday (Hà Nội time) in Viersen, Germany.

The team with world No 2 Trần Quyết Chiến and No 8 Bao Phương Vinh defeated Spain in a nail-biting final match to help Việt Nam bring home the title for the first time in history.

World champion Vinh had no problems beating world No 188 Sergei Jimenez 40-22 in 18 visits to the table.

339188 vinh1 | FDI Việt Nam
Trần Quyết Chiến and Bao Phương Vinh (right) pose with the World National Team Three-Cushion Championship trophy.

But No 26 Ruben Legazpi drew the match for Spain against Bogota World Cup winner Chiến 40-38 in 27 innings. It was a poor performance of the Vietnamese player who had a brilliant start but he made many mistakes, giving Legazpi chance to finish the match easier than expected.

The winners were decided by a playoff which applied the Scotch Double format. Players competed to reach 15 caroms with no equaliser, turning it into a rarely seen thriller.

The Spaniards took a 4-0 lead. Việt Nam fought back and passed the Spaniards 9-4 and 11-8.

The closing innings chased nerves through the arena and the stands, with Việt Nam and Spain taking turns to lead the match. The tension rose to a climax when it was 14-14 and finally, after some five mysterious misses, Vinh could score the winning point over five rails.

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Vietnamese world champions congratulate each other with huge joy after their victory.

It was the second meeting of the two sides who also drew in their group round last week.

Earlier, in the semi-finals, the Vietnamese unexpectedly struggled but managed to overcome the US 15-13 while the Spanish duo won by a wider margin against Japan, 15-5.

The two losers shared the third podium.

Việt Nam which has quickly risen to the top of the world in three-cushion, now holds the two major titles. Only seven countries — Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, Japan and South Korea — have ever managed the same.

At the last World Three-cushion Individual Championship in Ankara last year, Vinh became world champion in a final against his compatriot Chiến.

The new stronghold of Vietnamese billiard players has conquered the world of three-cushion at lightning speed.

339190 vinh3 | FDI Việt Nam
Vietnamese world champions and other teams in the top four of the world championship.

Within one year, they took four major titles: two World Cup trophies by Chiến in July 2023 and March 2024; world individual championship by Vinh in September 2023 and now the world championship national teams.

The World National Teams Championship, held from 1981 and for the 33rd time at De Festhalle in Viersen, featured 16 countries and many surprises.

Germany and the Netherlands, two of the title contenders were eliminated in the preliminary rounds. Record holders Sweden fell in the knockouts against Japan and South Korea squandered their chances against Spain. The powerful Belgians lost to Việt Nam in the Scotch Double.

Theo Vietnamnews