‘Fearless generation of the 2000’ Chiem (24) Le Hoang Kim (25)
“With them, the future of Korea’s 3-cushion is bright” Expectant players in their teens and 20s of Korea’s 3-cushion are shouting “fighting” with bright expressions at the venue of the 2023 Ho Chi Minh 3-Cushion World Cup on the 25th. Although they performed poorly in this tournament, they have a bright future ahead. (From left) Ye-seong Jeong, Hoi-seung Kim, Jeong-woo Park, Tae-hyun Kim, Ha-eun Kim, Young-yoon Cho, Jae-in, Son Jun-hyuk, and Jae-yoon Won.
‘With them, the future of Korea and Vietnam’s 3-cushion is bright’
The Ho Chi Minh 3-Cushion World Cup (hereafter referred to as the Ho Chi Minh World Cup), the stage for the world’s top 3-cushion experts, has a number of outstanding players, including Jaspers, Bromdal, Tasdemir, Zanetti, Kim Haeng-jik, Cho Myung-wu, and Tranquiet Tien, befitting its reputation. Their splendid play has captivated billiards fans all over the world since the final round of 32 starting on the 26th. Bromdahl, the “Emperor of Billiards,” already showed off his strength by setting a high run record (26 points) in the 3-Cushion World Cup on the first day of the Round of 32.
However, at the Ho Chi Minh World Cup, a large number of young people in their teens and 20s who will lead the 3-cushion future of Korea and Vietnam, the ‘Asia’s 3-cushion leader’, are attracting attention. Although they are still inexperienced, they are dreaming of becoming the ‘second Haengjik Kim, Jo Myungwoo, Tran’ with outstanding skills.
In Korea, as many as 9 ‘2000 Generation’ (18-21 years old) participated in the ‘Ho Chi Minh World Cup’, and finished the tournament schedule with the PQ (3rd round of preliminary rounds) on the 24th. Depending on the player, he would have aimed for the finals (Round of 32) or higher, so it is a disappointing result. In Vietnam, three people born in the 1990s (24-28 years old) stood out. Two of them made it all the way to the round of 32.
◆Jung Ye-seong, Son Jun-hyeok, Jung Jae-in, Park Jeong-woo, Kim Ha-eun… ‘Fearless Generation 2000’
The eldest brother of the ‘Generation of 2000’ is the trustworthy Jeong Ye-seong (21, Seoul Billiards Federation). Jeong Ye-seong, who is 5 years younger than Jo Myung-woo at Maetango High School, defeated Kim Haeng-jik and Choi Seong-won in the ‘Taebaek Sanbae’ last year and won the runner-up (losing to Kim Hyung-gon in the final), and is currently ranked 5th in the domestic rankings. In this tournament, she unfortunately suffered a high defeat (2 losses) in the PPQ (2nd round of preliminary round). She said, “It seems that the recent slump has continued to this tournament.”
Directly under Jeong Ye-seong, ’19-year-old’ Son Jun-hyeok, Jung Jae-in, Kim Tae-hyeon, and Kim Hoe-seung challenged. Son Jun-hyeok (19, Bucheon City Sports Association) is a promising player who has been attracting attention since he was in his third year of high school last year. In 2022, he made it to the final qualifying round (Q) in succession at the Ankara 3-Cushion World Cup in Turkey and the Las Vegas 3-Cushion World Cup, and then advanced to the finals (Round of 32) at the 3-Cushion World Cup in Seoul. He finished the tournament in third place in his group in the third qualifying round (PQ). Son Jun-hyeok said, “I had a hard time adapting to the hot weather in Vietnam,” and “I realized once again that adaptability is essential for overseas competitions.”
Jeong Jae-in (Gwangju Nambu University) has already reached the top of the domestic competition. He won the championship last year by defeating Yang Chang-woo (Incheon Billiard Federation) and Kim Hyung-gon (Seoul Billiard Federation)-Park Jeong-woo (Bangtong High School affiliated with Gyeongdong High School) in the doubles final of Taebaek Mountain last year. It is regrettable that Jung Jae-in also finished second in the group in the PPQ (second qualifying round).
Kim Tae-hyeon (Gwangju Nambu University) and Kim Hoe-seung (Seoul Billiards Federation) made their debut in the 3-Cushion World Cup. The final grades were not satisfactory with Kim Tae-hyun PPQ and Kim Hoe-seung PPPQ. It is said that he realized the high wall of the world stage, but on the other hand, he also gained confidence.
Park Jeong-woo, Won Jae-yoon, Kim Ha-eun, and Cho Young-yoon, who are one year older than them, are 18-year-olds. Park Jeong-woo (Kyungdong Broadcasting High School), who participated as a representative of the World Junior 3-Cushion last year and reached the quarterfinals, started from PPPQ and advanced to PQ in this competition. He finished second in his group and did not make it to the final round (Q), but he earned the envy of his peers by performing the best.
Won Jae-yoon (Bongilcheon High School), Kim Ha-eun (Seoul Billiards Federation), and Cho Young-yoon (Jeonju High School), although eliminated in the first round, have accumulated good practical experience on the international stage.
In particular, Kim Ha-eun was able to participate in the World Cup thanks to the promise she made with her parents. “My parents said that if I won the national competition, they would send me to the 3-Cushion World Cup. I won the Korea Sports Council Cup in November last year. Haha” For Kim Ha-eun, this Ho Chi Minh tournament is her second World Cup challenge.
In the future, Korea’s ‘2000 Generation’ and Vietnam’s terrifying young guns in their 20s (from left), Bao Huong Binh (28) and Le Hoang Kim (25), whom you will meet many times in international competitions. Taihong Chiem (24). (Le Hoang Kim photo = Five and Six)◆Vietnam’s scary 20’s… Bao Phuong Binh, Thai Hong Chiem, Le Hoang Kim,
South Korea’s rival and host country, Vietnam, also has rising jockeys in their 20s. They are Bao Phuong Binh (28), Thai Hong Chiem (24), and Le Hoang Kim (25). These are the opponents we will have to meet with Korea’s ‘generation of 2000’ in numerous competitions in the future. It is true that they are one step ahead of Korea’s ‘2000 generation’ in terms of international competition results so far.
Bao Phuong Binh (ranked 35th in the world) is regarded as one of the top players in Vietnam beyond a promising player. Last March, in the round of 32 at the ‘Las Vegas 3-Cushion World Cup’, he defeated ‘the world’s strongest’ Dick Jaspers by 40:36 in 18 innings, creating a stir, and gained momentum to advance to the round of 16 of the tournament.
Tai Hong Chiem (ranked 34th in the world) is also a talented player. Last year, at the Donghae World Championships in Gangwon-do, he overcame seniors Wing Deok An-chien and Choi Seong-won in succession and advanced to the round of 16. In the recent ‘2023 Asian Carom Championships’ (last March in Yanggu, Gangwon-do), he was blocked by Cho Myung-woo in the semifinals and took third place. Bao Phuong Binh and Thai Hong Chiem advanced to the round of 32 side by side in this tournament.
Compared to the previous two, Le Hoang Kim is an unfinished standby whose name is less known. However, as a disciple of ‘Vietnamese Ace’ Tran Quet Chien, he is a next-generation runner. The result of this tournament is 2nd place in the group with 1 win and 1 loss in the first qualifying round (PPPQ).