Vietnamese billiards player criticized for celebrating world title win before shaking hands with opponent

By Xuan Binh   March 5, 2024 | 05:40 am PT
Dutch billiards expert Bert van Manen criticized Vietnamese player Tran Quyet Chien for his post-victory celebration at the Three-Cushion World Cup, saying that it was unsportsmanlike.

"Chien's actions were not graceful, especially right after he scored the winning point," Manen commented following the Three-Cushion World Cup final on Sunday in Bogota, Colombia. "He raised his fist and cue high, bowed and blew kisses to the audience. Those actions are fine, but they should come after shaking hands with the opponent."

Before the final ball went in, Chien was already celebrating, knowing he would win. He waved his hand and kissed his cue. Seeing hundreds of spectators in the Coliseum El Salitre stand up and applaud, Chien took a bow and then blew kisses towards them. Meanwhile, his opponent Sameh Sidhom also applauded and waited to shake hands with Chien.

Tran Quyet Chien celebrates his Three-Cushion World Cup win on March 3, 2024. Video courtesy of AfreecaTV

"Sidhom displayed great sportsmanship by applauding and wanting to shake hands with Chien," Manen added. "But Chien made him wait a bit. Afterward, the Vietnamese player accepted congratulations from Sidhom but quickly turned away. This behavior is not a good example for others. Chien needs to realize that his actions are watched by tens of thousands of fans."

On Manen's social media account, others also agreed with his view. User Bo Hill Larsen commented: "I must admit I find Chien quite unpleasant for celebrating too much and not greeting his opponent while he was still at the table after the match. But clearly, Chien won and he is an exceptional player."

User Juan B Uribe replied: "I felt the same. Sidhom had to wait twice to shake hands with Chien and even returned to pat the champion on the back but didn't receive much response. Anyway, the audience applauded both players."

Chien told VnExpress on Tuesday: "Victory always brings special emotions, so I had to celebrate first and think about other things later. I think everyone would do the same."

This marks Chien's fourth consecutive victory over Sidhom at the World Cup. Last year in Porto, he beat the Egyptian player in both the group stage and the final. In Bogota, Vietnam's number one player repeated the feat against the top African player.

A Vietnamese commentator on Afreeca mentioned that some viewers felt sorry for Sidhom. Chien responded: "In competition, there are wins and losses. If I feel sorry for others, who will feel sorry for me?"

After signing the match record, Sidhom congratulated Chien again before leaving the table. At the awards ceremony, the Egyptian player continued to congratulate Chien.

Sidhom, 37, has reached the World Cup final twice but lost to Chien on both occasions. Meanwhile, Chien, 40, has made it to the final five times, winning three in Ho Chi Minh City 2018, Porto 2023, and Bogota 2024. Sidhom is currently ranked fifth in the world, while Chien has climbed to the second spot, his career-high.

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