“This is the main event”
Choi Wan-young, Cha Myung-jong and Park Soo-young advanced through the final qualifying round (QR) of the Seoul 3 Cushions World Cup, meaning that nine South Koreans will compete in the round of 32.
However, each of the main draw groups features some of the world’s top players, so the competition is sure to be fierce.
Group E Kim Jun Tae Tran, Group G Cha Myung Jong Mucs Bao Phuong Binh
Group H Kim Hang-jik Tasdemir, Park Sooyoung, Legazpi
In the final qualifying round of the Seoul 3 Cushion World Cup 2023 at the Victory Hall of Taereung Athletic Center in Nowon-gu, Seoul on September 9, South Korean players Choi Wan-young (Group A), Cha Myung-jong (Group B) and Park Soo-young (Group E) finished first in their respective groups to advance to the round of 32. Seo Chang-hoon and Ahn Ji-hoon powerhouse Hwang Bong-joo finished second.
In Group A, Choi Wan-young (10th in Korea, Gwangju Billiards Federation) defeated Pierre Souman (48th in the world, France) 40:32 in 18 games and then defeated ‘Greek powerhouse’ Nikos Polychronopoulos (16th in the world) 40:30 (21 games) to advance to the round of 32.
Last year’s runner-up at the event, Cha Myung-jong (World No. 18, Incheon City Sports Association), booked his ticket to the main draw with victories over Jung Seung-il (40:38) and Arai Tatsuo (40:36) in Group B.
Park Sooyoung (Korea No. 27, Gangwon Billiard Federation), who started the tournament with the second round of qualification (PPQ), defeated Austria’s Arnim Kahofer (World No. 45) 40:36 (27) in Group E, and then defeated ‘Belgian powerhouse’ Roland Potom (World No. 26) 40:22 (34) to advance to the round of 32.
With the conclusion of the final qualifiers, the eight groups of the Round of 32 have been drawn. The round of 32 will be a pool league with eight groups of four, with the first and second place finishers advancing to the round of 16.
Nine Korean players will compete in the main draw, including the three qualifiers, four seeded players (Choi Sung-woo, Kim Haeng-jik, Kim Jun-tae, and Heo Jung-han), and two wildcards from the host Seoul Billiards Federation (Kim Hyung-gon and Jeong Ye-sung).
In particular, Group B contains three world No. 1s in Choi Choi Woo (Seoul Metropolitan Government, Silk City Entity), Kim Hyung-gon (Korea No. 5, Seoul Billiards Federation), and Choi Wan-young, meaning that at least one player will be eliminated. Group C includes Bromdahl and Jeong Ye-sung (#7 in Korea, Seoul Billiards Federation), and Group D includes Yasper and Heo Jung-han (#15 in the world, Gyeongnam Billiards Federation). Kim Jun-tae (World No. 12, Gyeongbuk 토토 Sports Federation) will face the “strongest man in Vietnam” Tran (World No. 5) in Group E, while Cha Myung-jong (World No. 6) and Bao Phuong-bin (World No. 11) will play in Group G.
In Group H, Kim Hang-jik (World No. 10, Jeonnam Billiard Federation) will face a tough opponent in Tasdemir (World No. 9), Park Sooyoung and Rubin Legazpi (World No. 34). [Seung-hak Cha, MK Billiards News reporter].