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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Juniors Championship - Valencia (ESP)

Myung-Woo Cho waves farewell with third junior world title

Posted by on October 5, 2019

Myung-Woo Cho waves farewell with third junior world title

© Kozoom
Myung-Woo Cho (22), celebrating his third and last junior world title

VALENCiA - The 22 year old Korean super talent Myung-Woo Cho has closed his junior era with a third world title. On the podium with three Koreans and one Colombian in the stately arena in Valencia, the young star player finished on top after his victory in the final over his countryman Junseo Ko 35-24 in 24 innings. That was his third world gold after Hurghada in 2016 and Izmir in 2018. With the happy smile on his face and the trophy in his hands, one of the greatest young talents ever waved goodbye as a junior player. Only HaengJik Kim, one of his legendary predecessors, was even more successful with four world titles.

In three days of playing at this World Championship, Myung Woo Cho turned most of his opponents into actors in his run-up to the championship.  Junseo Ko, facing Cho, gathered the most caroms (35-24), his other rivals on the way to the final match were beaten 25-13, 25-4 and in the knock-outs 35-12, 35-7 and 35-15. The average of the Korean champion was 1,792, the best run (10) he shared with Hwan Woo Cho and Cristian Montoya.

The final match against Junseo Ko was not his best performance, because after 5 misses in the first ten innings, Myung-Woo Cho faced a score of 11-11 after 11 innings. When the score was at 20-13, Myung-Woo Cho attacked with nine to 29-14 in 18, after which the champion point lasted six more innings: 35-24.

The Korean, who will soon have to enter his military service in South Korea, went up as a comet to the world top and won a big tournament with the world stars a few weeks ago at the LGU Cup, awarding him with 65,000 dollars. He has dominated junior three cushion for the last four years, won his first world title in Hurghada in 2016 with 1,277 on average ahead of Jung-Ju Shin and Spaniard Andres Carrion. In the next year he was surprised by Carlos Anguita, the Spaniard who became world champion in his own environment. Last year, in Izmir, brought Myung Woo Cho to his next highlight in his early career, when he grabbed the world title with 2,022 on average, followed by Dae Hyeon Jang and Carlos Anguita, who excelled with a run of 16.

Kozoom journalist Frits Bakker had an exclusive interview with the new and old champion after his final win.

Kozoom: How do you look back on your junior years in billiard: what was your first major success? And what was the most glorious of all the titles that you obtained?
Myung-Woo Cho: The LG U+ tournament one month ago. Most of the world top players were there, so it was so nice and memorable for me that I could win this big title.

Kozoom: Why do so many young Korean players come to the top quickly and is Europe far behind now with its juniors?
Myung-Woo Cho: There are so many billiard clubs in Korea and so many good teachers to get started. For the young players, it's really good environment.

Kozoom: Many years ago, in a Kozoom interview, when you were still at school, you told me about your discipline in practice, 8 hours of training per day. How is that for now? How many hours? And always at Dani's place?
Myung-Woo Cho: When there's no tournament, I practice at least 12 hours per day. Dani's home is too far to visit.

Kozoom: Do you still live at home (with your parents), or are you most of the time somewhere else? How often are you at Dani's billiard club? What does your daily life usually look like?
Myung-Woo Cho: Yes, I'm living at home and I don't go anywhere. My usual life pattern is home-billiard club-fitness club-home. Really simple, isn't it?

Kozoom: Do you still have time for other things than billiards, another hobby, time to relax, to go out? Time for a girlfriend?
Myung-Woo Cho: Unfortunatly, I dont't have time to enjoy other things over billiards.

Kozoom: What are your next big goals in your career?
Myung-Woo Cho: Winning the big World championship, of course.

Kozoom: I was told about your military service next year. Is it already known when?
Myung-Woo Cho: No, not yet. I'll apply for the military service early next year.

Kozoom: In those 18 months military service, you are not allowed to go abroad for tournaments? How hard is it then to stay on top in that period? You can only play the Korean tournaments?
Myung-Woo Cho: No, normally not allowed to participate any tournaments. So, probably I will have hard time to be back to my current position, after the military service.

Kozoom: Who were your most difficult, feared and most talentful opponents in the junior years?
Myung-Woo Cho: Actually, I don't have any opponent who is difficult or feared. For me, every player is difficult and I only fear that I cannot play my best in any game.

Kozoom: May I ask, just for fun: as a young boy, did you buy something nice for the big money you won with the LGU Cup?
Myung-Woo Cho: Nothing. I saved the whole prize money for the future.

The reports of the semi-finals and the final ranking:

Myung-Woo Cho-Cristian Montoya 35-15 in 19

The start of the Korean favorite with 5-1 in the first inning sets the tone for the rest of the match. The final gap is made by the run of 10 in the 7th inning, which leads to a 20-5 score. Myung-Woo Cho treats the crowd in the stands to the most curious and amazing caroms, his opponent is struggling with the stress and scores only 0, 1 and 2's in his first fifteen innings. Thas makes it to a one-way match running up to the finish line with 21-8, 24-9, 31-15 and finally 35-15 with averages of 1,842 for Cho and 0,789 for Montoya.

Hwa Woo Cho-Junseo Ko 35-33 in 27

The first skirmishes are in favor of Hwa Woo Cho, who leads 9-2 after six innings and 20-9 after a 10-run in the 10th inning. Following his performance in the quarter finals, Junseo Ko shows to be player with ups and downs and turns into a big fighter in the last part.  He launches his attack allowed by Cho's poor finish, with nine misses in the final phase. Junseo Ko seizes the unexpected opportunity and slips to victory in the second half with runs of 4 and 3 and 5 times 1. That prevents the Cho-Cho final.

Myung Woo Cho after his last junior event with the trophee

Three Koreans on stage: Cho, Cho and Ko

The World's junior stage

The two finalists: Myung-Woo Cho and Junseo Ko







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