In a mighty clash between two of Taiwan's favorite pool players, Yang Ching-shun prevailed over his long-time mentor Chao Fong-pang 11-6 in the final of the Guinness 9-Ball Tour at the jam-packed Kaohsiung Business Exhibition Center yesterday.
Of the six players Taiwan fielded for this leg, only Yang and Chao are native to Kaohsiung and it was appropriate that the two should fight out for the US$15,000 winner's purse, after recording semi-final wins over Taiwan's Wu Yu-lun and Ronnie Alcano of the Philippines.
Earlier, Yang had given three-time World Junior Champion Wu a lesson in composure, with Wu thrice scratching off his power break. From 2-7 behind, Wu managed to close the gap to 5-7 before Yang took another rack.
Wu then won two more racks and had a golden chance to level the scores in Rack 16. Breaking first, Wu committed a mistake on the 1-ball, allowing Yang to clean up. Yang went on to take two of the next three racks to get the win.
Speaking after the semi-final win, Yang said: "I'm feeling good and I'm able to read the table well. Wu's power break was spectacular but he often found himself out of position, or scratching, which handed me the initiative. I'd prefer to meet Chao in the final as there won't be much pressure to win between us. Winning and losing is an everyday thing."
And Chao duly delivered after defeating Alcano 11-6 in the battle of two World Champions.
It was Alcano who had the hot start, opening up with a solid 3-1 lead, highlighted by a magnificent 3-ball corner pocket off a two rail kick in Rack 3. But spurred on by his hometown fans, Chao turned the tide to win six straight racks, including capitalizing on Alcano's mental lapses in Racks 6 and 8.
Alcano then shifted to a soft-break, taking three of the next four racks before Chao surged again. From 8-6, Chao took the next two racks to break Alcano's spirit. Needing to win Rack 17 to stay in the match, Alcano was presented with a golden opportunity with an easy 3-9 combo. Alcano proceeded to fluff the shot, allowing Chao to complete a popular win.
"It's OK," Alcano said. "Chao really was the better man today. His break was going for him all through out the match. Plus he ate up the difficult positional plays I gave him. Even after using my soft-break I knew it was going to be very hard to come away with the win so I guess it's OK. I'm still proud of myself."
Having been knocked out by Alcano in the Group Stage in Jakarta, Yang was out for redemption in Kaohsiung. A three-time winner on the Asian 9-Ball Tour, including the very first tournament in Singapore in 2003, Yang was an image of calmness as he jumped to a 2-0 lead.
After the victory, Yang said: "I feel great. I knew my form had not been good lately, so I made sure I prepared well in the two weeks leading up to this event. I have made sacrifices and this is the fruit of my labor."
Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying yesterday saved five game-points to knock out longstanding rival Chen Yufei of China 10-21, 26-24, 21-12 and advance to the women’s singles final at the BWF East Ventures Indonesia Open in Jakarta. The world No. 2 and second-seeded Tai, a two-time Indonesian Open champion, recovered from a game down to save five game points in the second, forcing a decider, and stayed steady against world No. 4 and reigning Olympic champion Chen for the rest of the match. In the rubber game, Tai reached the mid-game interval at 11-6, and maintained her lead, 13-11, before powering ahead
Japan is the home of judo, but a brutal win-at-all-costs mentality, corporal punishment and pressure to lose weight are driving large numbers of children to quit, raising fears for the sport’s future in its traditional powerhouse. Underlining the scale of the problem, the All Japan Judo Federation canceled a prestigious nationwide tournament for children as young as 10, saying that they were being pushed too hard. A group dedicated to those injured or killed while practicing the martial art says 121 judo-related deaths were reported in Japanese schools between 1983 and 2016. Japan dominates the Olympics judo medal table, but federation president Yasuhiro
Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim on Tuesday praised US professional basketball player Enes Kanter Freedom for his advocacy of human rights. “An honor to meet @EnesFreedom, with admiration for his courage and commitment in advocating human rights,” Hsiao wrote in a post on Twitter that included a photograph of her posing with Freedom. “Looking forward to welcoming him to Taiwan in the future.” Hsiao did not give any information about her meeting with Freedom, who is currently a free agent. However, Legislator Hung Sun-han wrote on Facebook that Hsiao had invited Freedom to dinner at Twin Oaks, the former residence of Taiwan’s
RE-EVALUATION: ‘I hope that everyone is able to compete and as long as they are finding a way to do that then I am happy,’ US swimmer Alex Walsh said of the policy Swimming is to establish an “open category” to allow transgender athletes to compete as part of a new policy that would effectively ban them from women’s races. “I do not want any athlete to be told they cannot compete at the highest level,” Husain al-Musallam, president of governing body FINA, told an extraordinary congress of his organization. “I understand why transgender athletes want to compete in the gender of their choice ... but we should not favor one athlete over another,” he said. “I will set up a working group that will establish an open category at some of our biggest events.” He