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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Cup - Luxor (EGY)

Vietnamese Nguyen, a new champion, a new idol

Posted by on March 28, 2017

Vietnamese Nguyen, a new champion, a new idol

© Kozoom
Nguyen Quoc Nguyen, the new Asian champion, new idol in three cushion

LUXOR - He is cheerful, friendly, special, witty, eccentric and can play billiards really well. The world of three-cushion, for years the domain of Caudron, Blomdahl, Jaspers and Sánchez, has discovered a new idol. 35-year-old Vietnamese Nguyen Quoc Nguyen was crowned champion at the Asian championship last week in a field with all the strong Koreans. A new future is waiting for an upcoming phenomenon.

The radiant smile and his explosive behavior at the billiard have turned Nguyen (family name and first name) into a new public hero. ,,It is not a show that I put on, it's my style of billiards'', says the the Vietnamese from Ho Chi Minh almost apologetically. ,,I once tried to imitate Caudron and Merckx, with that tight face and wonderful focus. But I can't, it's against my nature. I play with my heart and want to show my emotions. Maybe, it looks nervous, but it's my body language.''

The new star in the firmament owes his growing popularity to that great attitude. Two, three years ago, he first appeared in the World Cups, then he soon became part of the world of the big guns. Twice already he climbed the podium in a World Cup, in Guri (2014) and Ho Chi Minh (2016). In the Asian championship, Nguyen celebrated the breakthrough, and with his victory he entered the elite world's top fourteen. For the second time a Vietnamese was on the highest stage at the Asian championship. Duong Anh Vu did it first in 2008.

This year's tournament was played in Seoul, where the Korean big names were overshadowed by the Vietnamese armada. Sixteen players entered the knockout, seven of the eight in the quarter finals were Vietnamese, to the dismay of the Korean home players. Sung-Won Choi was the only homeland player who stood his ground. Nguyen Quoc Nguyen finally defeated Duong Anh Vu and also bested two Vietnamese in the quarterfinals and the semi-finals: Ma Xuan Cuong and Ngo Dinh Nai.

,,Yes, that was a total surprise for Vietnam'', Nguyen still enjoys the huge success. ,,We could never dreamed of that result.'' His great example, at and around the billiard is Dani Sánchez: ,,I like his style, his technique, his attitude and his whole appearance.'' Nguyen played football himself and now and then kicks a ball to stay in shape. ,,I played for a club long time, but had to stop due to a bad knee.''

He was born in Pleiku City, a town in the mountains about 500 kilometers away from the capital, Ho Chi Minh. There, Nguyen started playing billiards when he was eight in a local club with two small tables. ,,I grew up in a very poor town where sports was a luxury. We played football, went out jogging and with a bit of money, we could play billiards in the club. I liked the sport very much from the first days.''

,,I am part of a family with three children, with an older sister, Nguyen Le Nguyen and a younger brother, Nguyen Quoc Vy. My father and mother didn't like the fact that I played billiards. My mother never came to see me, my father only twice in all these years.'' Nguyen moved to the capital when he was eighteen to study electronics at the University in Ho Chi Minh City. ,,I have done it in six years instead of four, because I liked playing billiards more than studying.''

Nguyen played his first national championship in 2008, right after he had completed his studies with two Masters titles. ,,Four years ago I opened a club in Ho Chi Minh, the Karo Club, with six tables. Karo is derived from carom, but is also the name of my wife.'' His club is close to the airport. ,,My partner runs the club, I am there if I don't have to play. I don't make many practice hours, just a few every day and I play some games with customers. I have a busy life, not only in billiards, also doing business. I rent a big building in Ho Chi Minh and then rent the apartments to offices. That's my main income.

The clubs in Vietnam don't make so much money, but I sell some equipment, I receive salary from the federation and earn some prize money in the World Cups and other tournaments.''

The capital, with its more than 1.000 billiard clubs and tens of thousands of players, has a new sports hero. And Vietnam cherishes its new status in three cushion after the overwhelming success at the Asian championship.

Nguyen Quoc Nguyen... black spiked hair, dark, mischievous eyes, always that bright laugh for anyone who comes near. The World Cup in Luxor enjoys the new star player these days. The world of three-cushion will welcome him with open arms.

The stage at the Asian championship with Nguyen Quoc Nguyen (second left), Sung-Won Choi, Duong Anh Vu and Ngo Dinh Nai

Nguyen Quoc Nguyen arrived for the Luxor World Cup

Nguyen (right) with the world's nr. 1 Dick Jaspers


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My Comments

Quốc Nguyện
Quốc Nguyện vô địch trên bàn bida chuẩn quốc tế

Message 1/2 - Publish at March 29, 2017 10:46 AM - Edited at March 29, 2017 10:49 AM

Very interesting
That was very nice portrait to read. Mr Quốc Nguyện seems to be someone to watch in upcoming games. His success and boost for carom in Vietnam will help to gain Olympic status.

Message 2/2 - Publish at March 29, 2017 5:42 PM

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