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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Juniors Championship - Guri (KOR)

Haeng Jik has a golden brother: Tae Kwan Kim

Posted by on September 5, 2015

Haeng Jik has a golden brother: Tae Kwan Kim

© Kozoom/Korea
The new world champion, Haeng Jik Kim's younger brother Tae Kwan Kim (19)

GURI - The Korean stronghold with its wealth of talent has produced another star player. The rostrum of the Junior World Championship welcomed Tae KwanKim, the younger brother of Haeng Jik Kim, four time junior world champion. This Saturday, he grabbed the title in front of his Guri home crowd in an all Korean final. He beat Jun Tae Kim 35-30 in 30 innings, and did a little happy-dance to show his emotion.

The era of the Korean Kim's in 3-cushion, the sadly missed Kyung Roul Kim as frontrunner and Haeng Jik as its major talent, gets a beautiful new chapter. Tae Kwan Kim, a bachelor student and a substitute for this WC, was the surprise winner. Two days before the tournament he was told he could play as the fifth Korean, because the two Colombians did not show. Without proper preparation and after a difficult group stage, Kim then beat Berkay Karakurt, who was seen as a major title candidate, Jung Ju Shin in the semifinal and favorite Jun Tae Kim, who had already been on the podium twice, in the final.

Three of the four semi-finalists are Koreans, the fourth was last year's world champion Adrien Tachoire, who played an uncomfortable tournament because he had lost his luggage and had to play with glasses instead of contacts, and with a borrowed cue. Tae Kwan Kim was the youngest and least experienced of the four, but he showed his battling mentality on the final day. The final was balanced from 10-10 to 23-23 and 29-29. Tae Kwan then mounted his decisive attack with a run of five, to win at 35-30 in 30.

The new world champion comes from a family with two children, he and Haeng Jik live in Suwon. Haeng Jik (23) has his busy billiard room, and he will finish his military service later this year. Tae Kwan still goes to school. He practices both in school and in Haeng Jik's room.

The success story of the Kim brothers is a remarkable one. Haeng Jik Kim won his world junior titles in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and he already played high averages back then. Two years ago he suffered a stroke, but he recovered quickly and is now close to the summit of the game. His second place in the Luxor World Cup, behind the invincible Dick Jaspers, marked his return.

The Kim brothers Haeng Jik (left) and the new champion Tae Kwan Kim

Haeng Jik won a major tournament in Korea, and won the Asian championship as well. He sometimes mentioned his kid brother Tae Kwan Kim, without boasting about his talent. The name of the new world champion first showed up during the trials for this event. Tae Kwan ended fifth, behind Myungwoo Cho, Jun Tae Kim, Jung Ju Shin and Hae Chang Jung, but he showed his class when he made a run of seventeen. Korea had no less than five horses in this race, thanks to the no-show of two Colombians.

The pre-tournament favourite, 17-year old Myungwoo Cho, came up short in the group stage. Jun Tae Kim, Jung Ju Shin and Tae Kwan Kim made it to the quarters, where Tachoire was the last remaining obstacle. The Frenchman was beaten by Jun Tae Kim, 35-31 in 30. He was happy to have made the semifinals and said: ,,I have played with someone else's cue, and with glasses instead of contact lenses. I have never been able to show my true quality.''
There hasn't been an official explanation for the not appearance of the two Colombian players during the tournament.

The Egyptian player Mahmoud Ayman, who did not show up for his last group match, explained later: ,,I had a big delay for my flight from Caïro to Istanbul and could not catch my flight to Seoul. Therefore I only arrived on the day that the tournament started. I played two matches, went to sleep and because of the jetlag, I missed my wake-up call.''

The World championship podium with Jun Tae Kim, Tae Kwan Kim, Jung Ju Shin and Adrien Tachoire

The final result (averages, highest run):

1 Tae Kwan Kim (Korea) 1.250-8

2 Jun Tae Kim (Korea) 1.286-9

3 Adrien Tachoire (Francek) 0.983-9

3 Jung Ju Shin (Korea) 1.386-11

5 Berkay Karakurt (Turkey) 1.213-14

6 Yusuke Mori (Japan) 1.301-6

7 Patrick Butora (Austria) 0.831-5 

8 Matthieu Franck (France) 0.834-7

9 Manuel Lindao (Ecuador) 1.200-8

10 Jung Hae Chang (Korea) 0.964-6

11 Joao Ferreira (Portugal) 0.964-5

12 Geoffrey Dresselaerts (Belgium) 0.729-8

13 Arda Gungor (Turkey) 0.688-5

14 Myungwoo Cho (Korea) 1.122-7

15 Jesus Rico (Spain) 1.086-7

16 Mahmoud Ayman (Egypt) 0.493-4.

Best average: Yusuke Mori 1.301.

Best run: Berkay Karakurt 14.

Tae Kwan's joy after he scored the champions point

Before the final match



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