Int'l media lauds Vietnamese billiard rookie for world championship

By Xuan Binh   September 12, 2023 | 06:55 am PT
Int'l media lauds Vietnamese billiard rookie for world championship
Bao Phuong Vinh at the World Three-Cushion Championship on September 10, 2023. Photo by UMB
Billiards sites and newspapers throughout the world have showered Vietnam's Bao Phuong Vinh with praise for winning the World Three-Cushion Championship despite only a year playing with the pros.

European billiards news site Kozoom called Vinh a "sensational world champion."

"The most famous winners list in the world of billiards has been enriched by a completely new name. Bao Phuong Vinh, until recently a total unknown billiard player from Vietnam, grabbed the world title three cushion in a Turkish billiard arena in a field with all the stars," author Frits Bakker wrote on Kozoom.

Bakker, a former player himself, has been writing about billiards for decades. He noted that national anthem of Vietnam was sang by both players in the world final.

Since the first World Three-Cushion Championship in 1928, there have been only three times that two players from the same country enter the final: Argentina in 1938, Belgium in 2017 and Vietnam this year. In the final on Sunday, Vinh defeated Tran Quyet Chien, world number two and Vietnam’s top player, 50-34 to bring Vietnam its first World Three-Cushion Championship title.

Bakker said Vinh radiated more disbelief than joy and pride after his victory. The young player who studied economics in Australia needed a few minutes to realize what he had done.

"In the 75-year history of the World Three Cushion Championship, never before had such a new rising star climbed the highest podium," Bakker wrote.

Vinh got $21,500 for his title. But the prize will be doubled next year when the tournament is hosted in Vietnam, World Billiards Union (UMB) President Farouk Barki confirmed.

"A star is born: Bao Phuong Vinh," read the title of the UMB news story about the event.

"Never before had a World Championship final been contested between two Vietnamese players, and never before had a debutant won the world title. Vinh played with flair and focus, hardly missing anything that was makeable," UMB wrote.

South Korean site The Billiards recalled that Vinh had made his first ripple at the Three-Cushion World Cup in Seoul last year. Now he's making splashes.

"In roughly a year, Vinh has beaten world number one, number two and number four, all legendary players," according to The Billiards.

Not just the media, but legendary players like Tobjorn Blomdahl and Marco Zanetti have also praised Vinh for his performance.

At the start of the final between Vinh and Chien on Sunday, Blomdahl said: "The master and the student have met. However, once the tables turned in the middle of the game, the Swedish legend saw that the student had become the master.

Blomdahl, a seven-time world champion said Vinh can "turn any chance into scoring and doesn't rely on luck."

Italian legend Zanetti was not surprised when Vinh lifted the title in his first world championship.

"His talent was undeniable. He was in his peak form at this tournament," he said.

Vinh, 28, received his master's degree in Australia in 2019. At the beginning of 2022, he was unranked, but now he's world number 10.

Bao Phuong Vinh defeats Tran Quyet Chien in the final of World Three-Cushion Championship on September 10, 2023. Video by Five&Six

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