|(From left) Ayako Sakai and Orie Hida from Japan, Therese Klompenhouwer from the Netherlands, and Cambodia's Sruong Pheavy at the Valencia 2019 World Championship Ladies 3-Cushion, Oct. 3. From Union Mondiale de Billard website|
By Ko Dong-hwan
Cambodian 3-cushion carom player Sruong Pheavy lost to world No.1 Therese Klompenhouwer in a semi-final round of the Valencia 2019 World Championship, to finish in third place.
Pheavy, who lives in Korea with her Korean husband, lost to the Dutch star 14-30 in 29 frames, giving Klompenhouwer her fourth world title, defeating Japan's Orie Hida.
The Cambodian, 29, stood on the podium's third-tier with Japan's Ayako Sakai
Pheavy was seen sighing during the semi-final match when her shots kept failing. She told Korean daily Sports Seoul she felt bitter and shame. She blamed her comparatively short experience as a billiard player.
"When you play in world championship representing Cambodia, you naturally are burdened with a hope to play well," said Pheavy. "I usually play along my rhythm and spontaneously hit the ball without wasting time. In Valencia, however, I was conscious of the 40-seconds rule (players given 40 seconds per shot) which left me thinking unnecessarily and messing with my concentration."
Pheavy made her world championship debut in Izmir, Turkey, in 2018, finishing third. She also holds a title from the ZANCA-Championship Asia 3-Cushion Open the same year.
Coming to Korea in 2010 as the fiancee of a Korean man in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, 36 years older than herself, Pheavy dominated amateur contests in Korea from 2014 and became an official member of the Korea Billiard Federation in 2016. She first conquered Korea's women's ranks the following year.
Pheavy, who is now sponsored by Phnom Penh Commercial Bank in Cambodia and Korean billiard custom cue brand Billking Korea, plans to launch a carom academy for children in Korea, particularly those from multicultural families.
Her ambition is to use her success as a bridge between Cambodia and Korea.
"With more multicultural carom players in Korea, the Asian carom market will prosper," Bilking Korea's project chief Choi Hyun-hee told The Korea Times.
"I look forward to seeing carom and pocket ball being part of the program at the Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Games."