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Two Turks, two Asians at final gala World Cup


Published by frits bakker

© Five&Six
The local hero from the start at the World Cup in Ho Chi Minh: Duc Minh Tran

HO CHI MINH – Turkish only 18-year-old player Burak Hashas, the World under 24 champion, is one of the huge sensations at the final gala of Ho Chi Minh’s World Cup. The young boy will play there with another Turk, Tolgahan Kiraz, the still young but already seasoned Korean player Jun Tae Kim and the unexpected Vietnamese star Duc Minh Tran in the semi-finals on Sunday. The elite field of European and Asian champions was eliminated in the run-up and does not compete for the final podium. Belgians Eddy Merckx and Frédéric Caudron, Spaniard Ruben Legazpi and Turk Berkay Karakurt had to leave the World Cup in the quarter-finals on Saturday afternoon. There, Jun Tae Kim (win against Caudron 50-21 in 20, run 22) and Burak Hashas (win against Merckx 50-41 in 24, run 16) especially shone. The remainder of that Saturday session saw wins for Tolgahan Kiraz against Ruben Legazpi (50-40 in 22) and Duc Minh Tran against Berkay Karakurt (50-44 in 31).

The unlikely stuntman is Vietnamese Duc Minh Tran, who is ranked number 250 in the world with five ranking points gained in the 2023 Ho Chi Minh World Cup. His star was shining in this current World Cup from the second day of the preliminary rounds, in which he won his group with 1.696 on average. On the second day of play, DM Tran was the day’s hero with 2.692, one day later, in the final qualifying stage, Tran was unapproachable against Burak Hashas (40-29) and Jeffrey Jorissen (40-26), bringing him unbeaten in the main draw with 32 players.

The Vietnamese wonderboy was far from finished: he kept Tayfun Tasdemir and Haeng Jik Kim out of the quarter-finals in that first stage, beat his illustrious compatriot Quyet Chien Tran in the best 16 in the next round, and on Saturday night on his way to the final gala, the third Turk still in the World Cup, Berkay Karakurt 50-44 in 31 innings.

That all led to a final day on Saturday with 1 player from the top 14 in the world rankings. Jun Tae Kim is the best ranked player in this field with four on the Events Ranking: number 6, following five players who are already out of this World Cup, Dick Jaspers, Quyet Chien Tran, Myung Woo Cho, Torbjörn Blomdahl and Eddy Merckx

And to make it even more sensational for the final day: of the other three finalists, Tolgahan Kiraz is number 19, Burak Hashas is 34th and Duc Minh Tran is 250, a rarely seen climax in a World Cup.

18-year Burak Hashas, a huge performance just before he leaves for the PBA

Korean Jun Tae Kim is by far the best ranked of four final players

The other Turkish player in the finals: Tolgahan Kiraz

The semi-finals on Sunday:

Turkish time 13.30, 8.30 in Western Europe: Burak Hashas-Jun Tae Kim

16.00 in Turkey, 11.00 in Western Europe:

Tolgahan Kiraz-Duc Minh Tran.

The matches can be seen live on AfreecaTV.

Young Vietnamese fan in the billiard arena

Billiard fans enjoying their days at the World Cup