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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - AGIPI Masters Finals - Schiltigheim (FRA)

Sung-Won Choi climbs with his win to the world top

Posted by on March 28, 2011

Sung-Won Choi climbs with his win to the world top

© Didier Fioramonti
Sung-Won Choi shows the audience his emotions after he won the final of the Agipi Masters.

The Korean billiard already had Kyung-Roul Kim as a real world topplayer and Haeng Jik Kim as a big, upcoming player for the future. Tonight the 33-year-old Sung-Won Choi showed himself to the world as the new phenomenon in the country with ten thousands of billiard clubs, hundred thousands of players and six hundred professional players. Jérémy Bury was beaten for his own audience (50-48 in 29 innings) in the final of the Agipi Masters.

The surprising winner had been capable in the past three days to fight back from hopeless positions with a miraculous endrush. Two wins with 50-49 against Eddy Merckx and Filipos Kasidokostas brought him to the final, in each match he crawled through the eye of the needle. In the final Choi had a flying start, but at the end of the match he had to show his character again when his opponent was on two caroms from the finish. The final sprint, which was crowned by the win and rewarded by a big ovation, gave the Korean the greatest satisfaction of his career so far.

The race of truth, after a cycle of many highlighted matches, started with 32 players, was never a real fight. The start of the Korean (run of twelve) had a crippling effect on Bury, who couldn't parry the attack of his opponent until the twentieth inning.

Bury's face was tight and tense, as if he had to throw down a Korean wall at the table. The French player had almost a disastrous start: he lost the lag, had to admit his opponent starting the break-off and saw Choi score a run of twelve in that first inning.

The tension was on from the very beginning in the room where Bury was seen as the big favorite of the crowd. Choi showed his high class in the first part and his eastern mysticism. It turned out in a fight with a lot of emotion and before and after the break in a match with two faces. Choi led after the runnings of twelve and eight 28-21, Bury then came up with eight, five and six and took over the lead around the twentieth inning.

He jumped to 42-35, 45-40, missed on 48 by a kiss and had to watch from his chair how Choi equalized at 48-42 with a run of six. The Korean finished two innings later in the 29th inning with two and won the match.

The Korean joy was in stark contrast to the slight disappointment on French side. The French billiards has never been pampered by three-cushion players of world class. Tonight Jérémy Bury could have written history for his country in the arena of Agipi by winning one of the most prestigious tournament in the world.

The Parisian, who has shown himself already for a long time a much better competitor than his illustrious compatriot Richard Bitalis, was only two caroms away from it. He could nevertheless look back on a fantastic tournament.

Sung-Won Choi received by winning the tournament the greatest prize-money. He was rewarded by 25.350 euros. Bury earned 13.950 euros, Kasidokostas 8.200, Zanetti 7.950 and Jaspers 7.700.

Dick Jaspers played with 2.281 the highest overall average, before Bury with 2.106, Zanetti with 2.057 and Caudron with 2.039.

Filipos Kasidokostas scored the highest run of 21.

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