An all-Vietnamese final in the men’s one-cushion carom singles event could occur at the 25th Southeast Asia (SEA) Games in Laos in December.
Dang Dinh Tien takes a shot during the men’s singles carom 1 final against Japanese player Machida Tadashi at HCM City’s Phan Dinh Phung Gymnasium. Tien won 100-25 to win the gold medal of the Asian Indoor Games.
That prediction was from Nguyen Viet Hoa, a billiards and snooker coach who is guiding five players at the HCM City’s Phan Dinh Phung Gymnasium. Seven other national players are practising in Ha Noi.
Hoa said that Dang Dinh Tien and Cao Thanh Truc could create an all-Vietnamese final as was done at the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand in the men’s one-cushion carom singles event.
Besides gold hopes Tien and Truc, Doan Anh Tuan, the National Sports Administration’s head of billiards&snooker, also pins hope on Do Hoang Quan and Luong Chi Dung in the men’s nine-ball pool doubles event.
In the SEA Games 2005 in the Philippines, Dung won two silvers in the men’s 9-ball singles and doubles.
In addition, Duong Thuy Vi and Vuong Thu Binh are also probable medalists in the women’s 8-ball and 9-ball pool events.
Tien is currently the country’s top player in one-cushion carom. He has played extremely well so far this year with three titles.
He won gold at the National Billiards and Snooker Championship in HCM City in May, the Asian Billiards Championships in Seoul in September and the third Asian Indoor Games two weeks ago.
Truc is a young player who emerged during the National Billiards and Snooker Championship in May when he lost to Tien in the final. Truc also won a bronze medal at the Asian Billiards Championships in Seoul.
Tien aims to complete his successful year with a gold medal at Laos.
“My goal is to win a gold medal in Laos and I am working hard to achieve that goal,” Tien said.
The 49-year-old and other national members are now practising hard from 9am to 7pm in HCM City’s Phan Dinh Phung Gymnasium to keep their form.
“Tien is an experienced player and I don’t worry anything about him. Now he just practises to keep his form. I pin my hopes on him to win a gold medal. It is Truc that I need to care of. He is still young and tends to lose his nerve in big games,” Hoa said.
“Tan Kiong An, who won a bronze medal at SEA Games 2007, and Reynaldo Grandea, who won a bronze medal at SEA Games 2005, are the main rivals for Tien and Truc on the way to defend the gold medal that Duong Anh Vu won in 2007 and Nguyen Thanh Binh in 2005,” he added.
Viet Nam will take part in all nine events in the sport – men and women’s 8-ball and 9-ball pool singles, one-cushion carom singles, men’s English billiards singles and doubles and Snooker singles and doubles.
Viet Nam competed in the billiards&snooker for the first time in 1997 at the 19th SEA Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, and won one gold medal by Ly The Vinh, one silver medal by Duong Hoang Anh and two bronze medals by Dang Dinh Tien and Le Phuoc Loi.
The team will leave for Laos on December 7 and the competition will take place from December 10-17 at Convention Hall in Done Chan Palace, Vientiane.