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Billiards world in shock: Kyung-Roul Kim passed away

Posted by on February 22, 2015

Billiards world in shock: Kyung-Roul Kim passed away

© Harry van Nijlen/
Kyung-Roul Kim, the best Korean players for the last ten years, passed away at the age of 34.

SEOUL - The international billiards world has lost one of its major Korean star players today (Sunday, February 22, 2015). Kyung-Roul Kim, who would turn 35 tomorrow, has suddenly died. The best Korean billiard player of the last ten years leaves behind a wife and a young daughter.

Kyung-Roul Kim was staying in his parents' house in Il-San, not far from Seoul, when he passed away. He died between 04.00 and 06.00 Korean time (12.00 and 14.00 in Europe). His death makes a sudden end to the life of one of the great three-cushion players in the world and a wonderful human being.

Woojin Park, his coach at the major tournaments, said: ,,The Korean billiards world is in shock already for hours. Many players have called me, they showed their compassion, no one had forseen that this could happen. Kyung-Roul never showed sadness or bad feelings, he was always happy and cheerful.'' Many people will remind him as the player with the bride laugh, the yell and the beautiful interviews after a match.

Sung-Won Choi, the world champion, who was in Antwerp for the Supercup gala on Saturday night, was one of his best friends. He could not believe the sad news. Dani Sánchez, the Spanish champion, responded: ,, He was a great friend, a wonderful man, this is really so terrible.'' Jean van Erp, the Dutch champion:. ,,What an incredible news, I'm dazed.'' Nikos Polychronopoulos, the Greek champion: ,,How awful, such a wonderful person.''

Kyung-Roul Kim was the first Korean who entered the international top after the Sang-Chun Lee era. He was the forerunner of the new generation like Sung-Won Choi, Dong-Koong Kang Jae Ho Cho Choong-Bok Lee (also known as the Big Five) and the young, current Asian champion HaengJik Kim.

He won the World Cup in Antalya, 2010, exactly five years before his death in the final against Dick Jaspers. Twice he was second at a World Cup, in Trabzon, 2011 after Eddy Merckx and Suwon, 2008 after Dick Jaspers. Twice he was second on the renowned Agipi Masters, once behind Choi (2010), once behind Blomdahl (2012). He ruled from 2005 in his own country and was the Asian champion one time.

His last years were less successful, because Kyung-Roul Kim was very busy in business. He owned six billiard clubs, recently he sold three of them.

The billiards world lives on in shock.

RIP, dear friend Kyung-Roul Kim.

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My Comments

Accident or Suicide?
Initial report says he fell from the balcony of his parents' apartment. Some suggest suicide but no suicide note was found. His playing suffered some after his brain surgery to remove eye flicker but friends and family say there is no reason for him to commit suicide. But the police has tentatively ruled it as a suicide. His death came on the eve of his 35th birthday.
He was a giant in 3-cushion carom world and (after the passing of the great Sang Lee) started the wave of Korean players on the world stage in recent years. It truly is a huge loss for the 3-cushion world. My deepest condolences.

Message 1/1 - Publish at February 24, 2015 1:33 AM

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