Tran Quyet Chien is still among top three cueists in the world after early exit from a recent world tournament.
Chien, the number one cueist in Vietnam, was expected to shine at the 2019 Three-Cushion Carom Billiards World Cup which concluded in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday.
But bad form saw him end up in the top 32 cueists in the competition. He was eliminated after winning only one of three matches in the group stage.
Tran Quyet Chien in the 2019 Billiard World Cup in Turkey in February.
Despite his early exit, Chien was able to keep his third position in the latest update of World Union of Billiards (UMB) Rankings with 312 points.
Cueist Ma Minh Cam also finished in the top 32 of the tournament, but moved up two places to 21st in the world rankings. Nguyen Duc Anh Chien jumped nine places to the 44th after getting into the top eight of the tournament.
Other Vietnamese cueists fell slightly in the rankings. Nguyen Quoc Nguyen dropped one place to 12th, while Ngo Dinh Nai to 14th and Duong Anh Vu 32nd.
The most surprising performance by a Vietnamese cueist in this tournament came from "dark horse" Nguyen Tran Thanh Tu. After a shocking victory against this year’s winner, Belgium cueist Frederic Caudron (ranked two in the world) in the group stage, Tu rocketed in the world rankings from 616 to 195.
The 2019 Three-Cushion Carom Billiards World Cup was held in Ho Chi Minh City from May 20 to 26. This year’s marked the fifth consecutive time that Vietnam has hosted the prestigious UMB tournament. It attracted 149 billiards players from 17 different countries who competed for a total of $118,000 in prize money.
Chien won his first world championship at the 2018 Three-Cushion Carom Billiards World Cup after beating compatriot Ngo Dinh Nai 40-39 in the final, also becoming the first Vietnamese to win the title.
He won the 3-cushion carom event at the Asian Carom Billiards Championship last month, earning 80 points in the UMB ranking to move three places to enter the top three.