Jo Myung-woo, Han Ji-eun, Tran Tan look… ‘Billiards MZ generation’ swept Asia 3-cushion￼
Men’s 3-cushion champion Jo Myung-woo, 24 years old, and women’s 3-cushion champion Han Ji-eun, 21 years old. All eight male and female 3-cushion winners are in their 20s and 30s.
The protagonists of the ’11th Asian Carom Championships’, which recently ended in Yanggu, Gangwon-do, were not Korea’s leading players, Kim Haeng-jik, Heo Jeong-han, Choi Seong-won, Lee Chung-bok, and Cha Myung-jong. Vietnamese ace Tran Quiet Chien, Ning Duc An Chien, or Ning Tran Thanh Tu were even less so.
The MZ generation (20s and 30s) in Korea and Vietnam were swept away. Excluding the U-22 (under 22 years old) 3-cushion, which is the stage for the ‘next-generation runner’, and excluding the 1-cushion where Japan’s veteran Yoichiro Mori took the championship cup, the winners of 2 out of 3 events (male and female 3-cushion) are in their 20s, of course. Most of the winners are young people.
◆ Myung-Woo Cho Cho, Tran Tan Look, and all 4 winners in Men’s 3-Cushion, all in their 20s and 30s
Looking at each event, Cho Myung-Woo, who showed off his extraordinary skills in Men’s 3-Cushion, is actually already a world-class player to be classified as the ‘MZ Generation’. Since November of last year, he has been showing terrifying momentum by winning four tournaments: East Sea Boat, Sharm El Sheikh 3 Cushion World Cup, National Territory Central Boat, and Asian Championships. Jo Myung-woo was born in 1998 and is only 24 years old.
Vietnamese players who occupied the remaining three spots in the semifinals, excluding the championship, have already shown off their presence on the world stage. Tran Thanh Luk, who finished runner-up after being blocked by Jo Myung-woo, was born in 1990 and is 32 years old this year. Tran Thanh Luk was only ranked 151st in the world before this tournament, and it is an unfamiliar name to domestic billiards fans. However, in this tournament, he reached the final by beating his country’s ‘great senior’ Tranquietchien and Korea’s strongman Lee Chung-bok.
Bao Phuong Binh and Thai Hom Chiem, both tied for third place, are young guns aged 27 (born in 1995) and 23 (born in 1999), respectively. The two players have recently stood out in international competitions and are considered Vietnam’s next-generation runners.
Bao Phung Bin defeated Tobjorn Bromdal (Sweden) and Typhoon Tasdemir (Turkiye) in the round of 32 group stage of the Seoul 3-Cushion World Cup last year to advance to the round of 16. He defeated Dick Jaspers (Netherlands) and advanced to the round of 16 as first place in the group. (In the round of 16, she was defeated by her country’s Wing Deok An Chien.)
Taihong Chiem showed off her formidable skills by reaching the round of 16 at the ‘World 3-Cushion Championships’ held in the East Sea last year.
◆Han Ji-eun won the women’s 3-cushion, except for the 40-year-old Vietnamese player , the situation is similar in the women’s 3-cushion in their 10s and 20s . Except for Phung Kien Tuong (Vietnam, 43 years old), who took a joint third place, all podiums were filled by Korean players born in the 2000s, that is, from their late teens to early 20s. Han Ji-eun (born in 2001, 21 years old), who ranked first, is the ace of Korean women’s 3-cushion beyond the MZ generation. Han Ji-eun, who is ranked second in the world after Teresa Klompenhauer, surprised her billiards fans by showing her all-time performance of average 2.0 in the finals.
Runner-up Jang Ga-yeon and her joint third place Park Jeong-hyeon are 19-year-olds (born in 2004) and are expected to follow Han Ji-eun closely. Following her first win at her national championship last year, Zhang Ga-yeon took her second national championship in the previous national championship. Jang Ga-yeon, who has been attracting attention for her powerful strokes since high school, is currently receiving special training from Kang Dong-gung and Cha Myeong-jong at the ‘Gangcha Billiards Institute’ in Dongtan, Gyeonggi-do.
Park Jung-hyun learned billiards from Kim Ga-young in the past along with Seo-ah Seo, who has recently emerged as a pocketball star, and won the first national billiards championship last year after converting to 3-cushion. This achievement was achieved after two and a half years of changing sports and four participations in the general division. Park Jung-hyun is gradually expanding her stride to the world stage by winning the Asian Carom Championships.
◆The next-generation stage U-22 The stage of the next-generation U-22 3-Cushion was a venue for Korean up-and-coming players, such as Kim Do-heon and Jung Ye- seong. All of the winners of the semifinals, including the winner Kim Do-heon (22, Suwon Billiards Federation), were Koreans in their teens and 20s. Kim Do-heon, a native of Maetang High School, is a player who has been noticed since his student days. He was quiet for a while after moving to the general division, but winning this tournament is expected to be an opportunity for a reversal. Runner-up Lee Jong-hoon (20), joint 3rd place Jeong Jae-in (19) Park Jeong-woo (18), as well as Jeong Ye-seong (21) and Kim Han-nuri (20), showed off their solid skills and made them look forward to their future steps. 메이저놀이터
Commentator Kim Bong-soo said, “At the Asian Carom Championships, the performances of young players stood out. It is proof that the skills of next-generation runners are rapidly improving, not only in Korea but also in Vietnam.”
In particular, Commissioner Kim said, “After Haengjik Kim and Cho Myung-woo, the time has come for young players who have systematically developed their skills to stand out in earnest. They are very competitive with each other, and this is leading to improvement in their skills, so I look forward to more in the future.”