Vinh lost to player Heo Jung-han from the Republic of Korea in the finals, however his performance was enough to propel him to world No 4, while his teammate Tran Quyet Chien officially claimed the top spot in the world rankings according to the World Carom Billiards Federation (UMB).

Bao Phuong Vinh (standing on the left on the podium) celebrates winning the runner-up place of the Ankara World Cup three-cushion event in Turkey on June 15. ( Photo:

Vinh had a strong start in the final, leading 10-2 against Heo, who had earlier eliminated Chien in the quarter-finals. But Heo fought back to level the match at 11-11 and then pulled away, leading 26-19 after 22 moves in the first round. Heo went on to win the final, 50-31.

Despite the loss, Vinh's finish earned him 54 additional ranking points, moving him from 8th to 4th place in the UMB rankings, the best ranking in his career so far which has included two individual and team world championship titles.

Meanwhile, Chien's consistent performances have seen him become the new world No 1, the first Vietnamese athlete to achieve this feat in an individual sport. Chien's accolades include three world cup titles, a world team championship, multiple Asia titles and a gold medal at the SEA Games.

According to the UMB's updated rankings, Chien leads both the World Players Ranking and the UMB Events Ranking. In the World Players Ranking, he has 371 points, 33 more than the next-best player, Kim Jun-tae and 40 more than third-placed Dick Jaspers.

With Vinh and Chien both in the top five of the world rankings, other Vietnamese players, such as Chiem Hong Thai (No 22) and Tran Thanh Luc (No 23), have also made significant strides in the UMB rankings.

Source: VNA