South Korean billiard phenom Myung-Woo Cho, in his final appearance as a junior, has won his second world title in the September 2018 tournament held in Izmir, Turkey, In the process he confirmed his position as one of the best players in the world, set several records along the way, and gave us all a prelude of what is to come as he continues his career on the International 3-cushion billiard scene as an adult.
At twenty years old Mung-Woo Cho has already many accomplishments he can be proud of. Two world junior (under 21) titles and three bronze medals in men's world cup competitions. His performance this year in the 2018 event made up for his early exit in 2017 (won by this year's third place finisher Carlos Anguita). And so it was the combination of Cho's high level of play coupled with his ability to come from behind when needed, which impressed the most and made the title well-earned.
Three world records were set in this event, and not all by Cho. Carolos Anguita had a high run of 16 which topped the previous record of 15 held by 4-time junior champion Haeng-Jik Kim. From their the event was all Cho as he went undefeated in both the preliminary and final rounds, recorded and incredible 25 in 5 innings (5.000 average) in his preliminary match against Alp Cebeoglu of Turkey, and finished with an overall average of 2.022 - world class in every way. (Cho had an earlier game of 25 in 7 innings against Gwendal Maréchal of France which was just a preview of what was to come!)
The most dramatic moments in the event had to be in the final match, where Cho got off to an incredibly slow start and found himself down 10-1 against fellow countryman Daehyeon Jang. Yet despite this steep hill that he had to climb Cho maintained his calm, cool, consistent demeanor, never lost concentration, and began to inch his way back with small runs and good defensive play. Soon he had the initiative back at 18-10 in 9 innings when the players took their mid-match break. From there Cho dominated to close the match and secure the title 35-18 in 18 innings.
We will surely be looking for great things from this extremely talented and dedicated young man. Certainly a World Cup win. And maybe one day the World Championship Title.
The final ranking at the 2018 Junior World championship (rank, match points, average, high run):
1 Myung-Woo Cho (Korea) 12-2.022-9
2 Deahyeon Jang (Korea) 8-1.300-8
3 Carlos Anguita (Spain) 8-1.163-16
3 Alessio d'Agata (Italy) 6-1.180-9
5 Julian Vasquez (Colombia) 4-1,917-7
6 Joey de Kok (Netherlands) 4-0.906-6
7 Maxime Panaia (France) 4-0.895-6
8 Santiago Ocampo (Colombia) 4-0,800-5
9 Stef van Hees (Belgium) 4-0.830-8
10 Shota Funaki 2-0.837-4
11 Björn Mikkel Jensen 2-0.764-4
12 Gwendal Maréchal (France) 2-0.741-6
13 Arda Güngor (Turkey) 2-0.654-8
14 Mahmoud Ayman (Egypt) 0-0.733-4
15 Alperen Cebeoglu (Turkey) 0-0.733-3
16 Mario Mercader (Spain) 0-0.625-3
Congratulations to Myung-Woo Cho, 2018 World Junior Champion.
To learn more about this great young billiard player see our profile from December 2016 Another Great Korean To Watch
The podium (Top row l to r): Carlos Anguita (Spain), Alessio d'Agata (Italy); (Bottom row l to r): Deahyeon Jang (Korea) and the winner Myung-Woo Cho (Korea).
Thanks goes to our friends at Kozoom for statistics, livestream, replays and pictures.