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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Cup - Guri (KOR)

Myung Woo Cho (18) has the day of his life in Guri

Posted by on September 1, 2016

Myung Woo Cho (18) has the day of his life in Guri

© Kozoom/Korea
Myung Woo Cho shares his happiness with his coach after he reached the main draw

GURI - If there was a world record in beautiful, intense victory celebrating, 18-year old Korean Myung Woo Cho could hold it as of today. The diminutive billiard player, who squeezes in at least ten hours of practice before and after school hours every day, made it into the main draw of a World Cup for the first time in his young career. In the deciding match on the last day of qualification, Cho beat Korean and Asian champion Haeng Jik Kim. ,,I really hope I get to play against my idol, Dani Sanchez now'', said Myung Woo Cho, who saw a dream come true and was overwhelmed by emotion after the match.

His radiant face still had disbelief on it, his right hand went to his mouth all the time, as if he wanted to say: "It's a miracle, I can't believe it". His coach, Han Cun-Ho, who is not a top player, was the first to embrace him, even before Myung Woo walked out of the arena, in tears. Outside the building he was congratulated by dozens of people, who wanted a picture with him, as if he had just won the World Cup. Not often do we see this much joy and happiness at the end of a billiard match.

Myung Woo Cho from Suwon, an hour's drive from Seoul, booked his place in the elite of 32 players who will compete in the knockout stage. He had been close earlier, having already played an estimated fifteen qualification tournaments. So far, the Korean prodigy had not been a winner: he placed second (2013) and third (2014) on the junior world championships. He is a likeable fellow, has fun with his friends, enjoys life, but almost everything is organized around billiards. ,,My dad will be so happy, that I have done this even before finishing school.'' The young Korean, who looks like a schoolboy, thanked his coach elaborately and explained how his mental coach (Yong Che Kim) also contributed to this success.

How can he make ten practice hours daily? Myung Woo Cho is in the same high school as Haeng Jik Kim and his younger brother, the current junior world champion were before. ,,The school has a full-size table we can play on. After lunch, I play there for four or five hours, and six or seven hours more after school in the billiard school where my dad is working. I never get bored. I want to improve, I want to make it to the top and I'll do anything to get there.''

The young talent was amongst the twelve group winners of the day, and with the three best numbers two, they all went into the draw for the main event. Sung-Won Choi only barely made it, in his match against Semih Sayginer, another former world champion. The Korean was lucky in the final stages, including when Sayginer told him that he wanted to take the wrong ball. Choi went to the other ball (the white) and scored with an unbelievable lucky shot. He could close the gap with Sayginer from 38-21, to lose 40-38 which was enough for him to win the group on average. Semih lost his first match against Aveiga, who finished with nine (coming from 37-31) including a fluke.

Jérémy Bury showed the form and the confidence he brought from New York. ,,I don't even feel that good, I am struggling with jetlag'', said the Frenchman. He had spent the weeks after the New York event with his family, and opened his Guri tournament with a splendid win over young Colobian Jose Juan Garcia in 17 innings. The second match had more tension: a 40-35 win over Birol Uymaz in only 14 innings. It made Bury the best winner of the day (2.580), ahead of Lütfi Cenet (2.352), Dinh Nai Ngo (1.860), Quyet Chien Tran (1.739) and Myung Woo Cho (1.333). The Vietnamese Dinh Nai Ngo performed a minor miracle against Murat Naci Coklu, trailing 15-3 but recovering with runs of ten and five, to win 40-36 in 17 innings. Coklu became the third runner-up, with an average of 2.450, and qualified as well.

The top twelve consisted of a Frenchman, five Koreans, two Spaniards, two Turks and two Vietnamese. Xuan Cuong Ma, Duc Anh Chien Nguyen and Murat Naci Coklu were the best numbers two, going in through the back door. Birol Uymaz as fourth number two (with 1.829) just missed out. Pedro Piedrabuena was fifth in line, Semih Sayginer eighth. Luis Aveiga, Eddy Leppens, Andres Lizarazo, Quoc Nguyen Nguyen and Haeng Jik Kim ended third in the group of losers.

Myung Woo Cho tries to hide his emotions in the arms of his coach

Jérémy Bury is back on stage after his victory in New York and showed his amazing form in Guri


The draw for the main tournament:


Frédéric Caudron-Sung-Won Choi

Dong Koong Kang-Murat Tüzül

Sameh Sidhom-Myung Woo Cho

Roland Forthomme-Murat Naci Coklu


Lütfi Cenet-Huberney Cataño

Marco Zanetti-Javier Palazón

Jérémy Bury-Xuan Cuong Ma

Eddy Merckx-Hyung Kon Kim


Dick Jaspers-Jae Guen Kim

Dinh Nai Ngo-Adnan Yüksel

Dani Sánchez-Ruben Legazpi

Nikos Polychronopoulos-Young Hoon Lee


Tayfun Tasdemir-Duc Anh Chien Nguyen

Quyet Chien Tran-Choong-Bok Lee

Jae Ho Cho-Jung Han Heo

Torbjörn Blomdahl-Magved Elias.

Semih Sayginer did a brave attempt, defeated Choi, but was unlucky to not reach the main draw

Sung-Won Choi needed some luck and a hard fight in his match with Semih Sayginer

Javier Palazón, tomorrow in the main draw Marco Zanetti's opponent

The Asian and Korean champion Haeng Jik Kim lost to young Myung Woo Cho and is out of the World Cup

Murat Naci Coklu, a fantastic average but only to the knock-outs as the third runner-up

Dinh Nai Ngo from Vietnam came back from trailing 15-3 and won the match against Murat Naci Coklu

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