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World Championship National Teams 3-Cushion 2024

Viersen, March 24th,2024.

The final of the World Championship for National teams could not have had a later moment of truth: the dying seconds of extra time as they say in football. It took two singles matches and a Scotch Double play-off that went to 14-14 before Vietnam’s Phuong Vinh Bao made the glorious last point. 

Finalists Vietnam and Spain had both won a match: Ruben Legazpi edging Quyet Chien Tran 40-38 in 27 and Sergio Jimenez losing to Phuong Vinh Bao 40-22 in 18. A 15-point play-off with all four players at the table had to decide about the world title. In half an hour of high stress, both teams missed opportunities and scored spectacular points. The quarter could have dropped on heads or on tails, but it was Vietnam that made the 15th and it gave them their first-ever world team championship. In fact, Vietnam had never finished in the medals before.  

In the first semifinal, Vietnam had trouble fighting off the tournament revelation USA. Tran cruised past Raymon Groot, but Bao lost to Hugo Patino. The play-off was a narrow 15-13 (in 11) win for the team from Asia. 

The second semifinal also resulted in a play-off, after Umeda had beaten Legazpi 40-30 in 34 and Jimenez had beaten Miyashita 40-36 in 29. This play-off was quickly captured by the Spaniards: 15-5 in 5 innings.   

The best match in Viersen was played by Tayfun Tasdemir: 40 in 11. 

The high run was shared by Sweden and Vietnam: 14. 

Vietnam had the highest team average: 1.666. 

Even though several world-class players were not in the line-up (Jaspers, Sidhom, Polychronopoulos, Piedrabuena) there was plenty of excitement and quality play.  It must have been an unforgettable experience for youngsters like Seleventas (Greece) and Ibraimov (Germany).