Tran Duc Minh claims victory in HCMC World Cup 3-Cushion 2024

Tran Duc Minh achieved an outstanding victory by defeating the world's 4th-ranked player, Kim Jun Tae from South Korea, in a thrilling final match.

Tran Duc Minh and his champion cup

Excellently defeating the world's 4th-ranked player, Kim Jun Tae from South Korea, in a dramatic final, Tran Duc Minh won the championship for the first time at the Ho Chi Minh City World Cup 3-Cushion 2024, which concluded on the evening of May 26 at the Nguyen Du Sports Hall in HCMC.

In the semifinals earlier that day, Tran Duc Minh, currently ranked 415th worldwide, faced the world's 17th-ranked player, Tolgahan Kiraz from Turkey, and won 50-42. Being his first time in such a major match, the Vietnamese billiards player was somewhat nervous, which affected his performance slightly.

Fortunately, his opponent, Tolgahan Kiraz, was in a similar situation, resulting in a lower-quality match. The average score per turn was quite low, around 1.020 and 0.857. However, Tran Duc Minh showed greater composure during the decisive final stage. When trailing Tolgahan Kiraz 41/40, Tran Duc Minh executed a 4-point series to take the lead at 44/41. Continuing to score points while the Turkish player struggled, Tran Duc Minh eventually secured a 50-42 victory to advance to the final against the world’s 4th-ranked player, Kim Jun Tae, held at 7:30 p.m. on May 26.

In contrast to the semifinal, Tran Duc Minh played brilliantly in the final, making it exciting and thrilling. He started strong, taking early leads of 9/0 and 15/2, and extended the gap significantly to 41/20 by the 17th turn.

Billiards player Tran Duc Minh excellently claims the HCMC World Cup 3-Cushion 2024 champion title.

What seemed like an easy victory for the player from Dong Nai Province turned unexpectedly dramatic when Kim Jun Tae made a sudden comeback, causing Tran Duc Minh's fans in the stands to hold their breath. In just four turns, the South Korean player scored 26 points with series of 4, 7, 12, and 3 points, overtaking Tran Duc Minh to lead 46/45.

From a seemingly advantageous position, Tran Duc Minh found himself in a tough spot. Nevertheless, he maintained his composure under pressure and played exceptionally well in the last two turns. He scored 5 points, securing a thrilling 50-46 victory to win the World Cup for the first time in his career, along with a prize of 16,000 euros.

Kim Jun Tae almost successfully stages a comeback.

With this victory, Tran Duc Minh becomes the second Vietnamese player to claim a World Cup title, following in the footsteps of Tran Quyet Chien. His remarkable ascent in the world rankings was announced on the evening of May 26, soaring from 415th to 37th place with the 80 points he earned.

Currently, Vietnam is at the forefront of the global billiards scene, holding all UMB championship titles. Bao Phuong Vinh currently holds the prestigious title of world singles champion. Tran Quyet Chien and Bao Phuong Vinh helped Vietnam to clinch the world team championship. Presently, Tran Duc Minh and Tran Quyet Chien jointly hold two UMB World Cup championships from the beginning of the year until now.

The joy of billiards player Tran Duc Minh after winning the final match

It is a disappointment for Tran Quyet Chien that Kim Jun Tae from South Korea secured the runner-up position in the HCMC World Cup 3-Cushion 2024, earning 54 ranking points and rising to the world's number one spot. Otherwise, Tran Quyet Chien might have been able to climb to the top of the UMB rankings, adding another achievement for Vietnam in the world billiards standings.

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