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Koreans the new world leaders in billiard

Posted by on July 15, 2017

 Koreans the new world leaders in billiard

© Sang Lee album
The American/Korean player Sang Lee topped the ranking in 2004

AMSTERDAM/BRUSSELS/SEOUL - The world's top five in three cushion still consists of five European players, although the stage at the last World Cup in Porto was occupied by three Asians and only one European. The individual top fifty on the ranking, however, shows the Korean invasion, followed by Turkish players, Vietnamese, Egyptians and Belgians. The current rankings clearly differ from the nineties of the last century and also in the early years of this century. Kozoom columnist Bert van Manen shows us the rankings of the UMB 1994, 2004, 2014, and 2017, giving a clear picture of the evolution in three cushion.

The American Sang Lee tops the individual ranking in 1994 ahead of Torbjörn Blomdahl, Raymond Ceulemans, Marco Zanetti and Dick Jaspers, but the entire top fifty is mainly coloured Dutch. The 'orange players' are with six in the top twenty: Dick Jaspers, Raimond Burgman, Arie Weijenburg, Christ van der Smissen, Louis Havermans and Henk Habraken.

The nation rankings, according to the individual top 50, are therefore led by the Netherlands with 11 players, followed by Belgium with 8, Japan with 5, Mexico, Germany and Austria with 4. There are no Korean or Vietnamese players in the top 50. The Japanese have Komori, Umeda, Kobayashi, Arai and Kai in the rankings.

Ten years later (2004), the Belgians are on top with 5 players in the top fifty (Fredéric Caudron, Raymond Ceulemans, Eddy Merckx, Peter De Backer and Eddy Leppens.) There a small margin with the other top countries Japan and the Netherlands, who share the second place with 4 players in the top 50, followed by Turkey, Denmark, Spain, Austria and Germany with 3. Semih Sayginer leads the individual ranking ahead of Torbjörn Blomdahl, Frédéric Caudron, Marco Zanetti and Dick Jaspers. The Koreans and Vietnamese still haven't entered top 50.

Ten years later (2014), the Koreans launched their invasion on top. Eight Koreans, with Sung-Won Choi, Kyung-Roul Kim and Jae-Ho Cho in the top 10, dominate the world's top 50. The Turks are second with 6, the Vietnamese and Colombians share third place with 5. The Netherlands and Belgium have four players in the top 50. Frédéric Caudron is the individual number one followed by Torbjörn Blomdahl, Marco Zanetti, Filipos Kasidokostas and Eddy Merckx.

The last poll was made in February 2017, when Dick Jaspers leads the ranking ahead of Caudron, Blomdahl, Sánchez and Polychronopoulos. The Korean power in the top 50 is awful: 12 Koreans are represented in the top 50 of whom Haeng-Jik Kim, the last winner in the World Cup in Porto, is the first on sixth position. The Turkish stronghold also resulted in a striking position: 2nd with 8 players in the top 50. Following in the top five, Vietnam, Egypt and Belgium.

Torbjörn Blomdahl, Dick Jaspers and Frédéric Caudron are in these four rankings in the top ten. Dani Sánchez, the current number one, appear in the top ten in 2004 as the number 9.

The individual top ten in 1994:
1 Sang Lee, USA
2 Torbjörn Blomdahl, Sweden
3 Raymond Ceulemans, Belgium
4 Marco Zanetti, Italy
5 Dick Jaspers, Netherlands
6 Frédéric Caudron, Belgium
7 Junichi Komori, Japan
8 Semih Sayginer, Turky
9 Tonny Carlsen, Denmark
10 Ludo Dielis, Belgium.

The players ranking per country in top 50:
1 Netherlands 11
2 Belgium 8
3 Japan 5
4 Mexico 4
5 Germany 4
6 Austria 4
7 Denmark 3
8 Portugal, USA, Turkey, Italy, Sweden, France, Peru, 2

Europeans 71%
Americans 18%
Asians 9%

The top ten in 2004:
1 Semih Sayginer, Turkey
2 Torbjörn Blomdahl, Sweden
3 Frédéric Caudron, Belgium
4 Marco Zanetti, Italy
5 Dick Jaspers, The Netherlands
6 Tonny Carlsen, Denmark
7 Filipos Kasidokostas, Greece
8 Jakob Haack-Sörensen, Denmark
9 Dani Sánchez, Spain
10 Tayfun Tasdemir, Turkey.

Players per country in top 50:
1 Belgium 5
2 Japan, The Netherlands 4
4 Turkey, Denmark, Spain, Austria, Germany 3
9 Sweden, Italy, Greece, Peru, Portugal, Korea, Colombia, France, Switzerland 1

Europeans 74%
Americans 14%
Asians 12%

The top ten in 2014:
1 Frédéric Caudron, Belgium
2 Torbjörn Blomdahl, Sweden
3 Marco Zanetti, Italy
4 Filipos Kasidokostas, Greece
5 Eddy Merckx, Belgium
6 Dick Jaspers, The Netherlands
7 Jérémy Bury, France
8 Sung-Won Choi, Korea
9 Kyung-Roul Kim, Korea
10 Jae-Ho Cho, Korea

Players per country in top 50:
1 Korea 8
2 Turkey 6
3 Vietnam, Colombia 5
5 Belgium, The Netherlands 4
7 Japan, Spain 3
9 Germany, France, Greece 2

Europeans 54%
Asians 32%
Americans 12%
Africans 2%

The top ten in February 2017:
1 Dick Jaspers, The Netherlands
2 Frédéric Caudron, Belgium
3 Torbjörn Blomdahl, Sweden
4 Dani Sánchez, Spain
5 Nikos Polychronopoulos, Greece
6 Haeng-Jik Kim, Korea
7 Eddy Merkx, Belgium
8 Jérémy Bury, France
9 Marco Zanetti, Italy
10 Sameh Sidhom, Egypt.

Players per country in top 50:
1 Korea 12
2 Turkey 8
3 Vietnam 6
4 Egypt 5
5 Belgium 4
6 Spain, USA, France 2

Europeans 44%
Asians 36%
Americans 10%
Africans 10%.

The overview of the four-level data (1994, 2004, 2014, 2017):


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My Comments

Chosing the right word
Hello Frits,

"The Korean power in the top 50 is awful" ... I guess "impressive"
would have been more suitable !?

Kind regards.


Message 1/3 - Publish at July 16, 2017 8:15 PM

Öndal Demirci
Öndal Demirci
About reigning situation
Life has never been so easy for Egy-frican players

Message 2/3 - Publish at July 17, 2017 10:13 AM

You're right, Bernard. Impressive is much better. I meant to say awesome, not awful of course.
Thanks for your correction.

Message 3/3 - Publish at July 23, 2017 10:16 AM

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