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Lee Shin Young, A Fresh Face at the Summit

Was she inspired by Phuong Vinh Bao, the surprising men’s world champion? Or maybe by her Korean colleagues, such as Myung Woo Cho and Haeng Jik Kim? Fact is, that Lee Shin Young established herself as a top player this week, winning the world title convincingly in a final against Japan’s Yuko Nishimoto: 30-18 in 26/25.  

Lee had eliminated the title favorite Therese Klompenhouwer earlier, and demonstrated her flawless stroke and tactical ability. She is way ahead of the other European and South-American ladies, one of so many young Korean ladies who have risen in the game in the past ten years. 

Mirjam Pruim was a surprising semifinalist, but she had no reply to Lee’s scoring: 30-15 in 45/44. In the other semifinal, experienced Yuko Nishimoto from Japan bested Korea’s Kim Haeun 30-27 in 38/37. 

Lee Shin Young will be a formidable opponent to Therese Klompenhouwer in the years to come. The Dutch five time world champion herself had said in interviews, more than once: “It would be good for the women’s game if there was more competition”, and she got her wish.  

The billiards continues in Ankara, with two more title events: the juniors (15-17 Sept) and the artistic players (20-23 Sept).