Cambodian billiards champion Srong Pheavy was ejected at the semi final stage of the 2018 Ladies 3-Cushion World Championships in Turkey yesterday going down to legendary former champion Orie Hida of Japan.
South Korea-based Pheavy was making her international debut for Cambodia at the Izmir tournament and shocked fans with her charge to the semis.
In the qualifiers she navigated past Denmark’s Jeanette Jensen as well as a slender defeat of Hida. She also defeated Steffi Daske of Germany to register an unbeaten streak in the qualifiers. In the quarters, she defeated Colombia’s Claudia Lalinde (30-16).
However she met her match in the semi-final as seasoned Hida triumphed 30-10 to eject Pheavy.
42-year-old Hida, the oldest and player in the last four, is a winner of four world titles and the Cambodian was always going to be the underdog.
“I wasn’t able to play a world championship before because my country joined UMB this year as a new federation, explained Pheavy. “I want to be a champion of the world but that will be very difficult,” she said after the qualifying victory over Hida.
“If I could get a world title I might get a reward from my country and I would help poor children with the money. I would cry if I won the title, but I don’t think it is for now, maybe in the future,” added the 27-year old.
Pheavy was announced as eligible to represent the kingdom in international competition last month after returning to the kingdom to meet with National Olympic Committee of Cambodia officials.
The Committee said The Korean Billiards Federation had accepted the request offering a supply of equipment for the development of billiards in Cambodia, as well as training and guidance for youth development. Also discussed in talks was an MOU for the continuation of cooperative relations between the two nations.
“Cambodia has signed an MOU with the Korean Billiards Federation and has maintained a cooperative relationship, said the NOCC’s Vath Chamroeun. “Since the Cambodian women’s athlete [Sorn Seavmey] won a gold medal in the Incheon Asian Games in 2014, the popularity of Taekwondo in Cambodia was remarkable. I want to create a billiards boom in Cambodia.”
In July, the Snooker and Billiards Federation of Cambodia officially declared its first mandate at the headquarters of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), with Mrs. Pheavy, the kingdom’s billiards phenom, a guest of honour.
Mrs. Pheavy, speaking at the ceremony, said she was honoured that her achievements were being recognised by her home country.
Having moved to South Korea in 2010 to be with her Korean husband – Cambodia’s Billiards Beauty – as she has been dubbed by local media outlets, has thrilled fans by winning no less than 20 major honours. Hailing from Kampong Cham, she took up billiards only five years ago. Last year, she won her second consecutive Korean national championship trophy.