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New Chinese doubles pairing win gold in 9-ball pool


25 Sep 2017
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, September 25, 2017: China overcame the twin hurdles of finding a last-minute replacement for an injured team member and falling behind in the final before rallying to win the gold medal in the Men's 9-Ball Scotch Pool Doubles at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games on Monday. Liu Haitao was forced to find a new teammate after his regular partner Wu Jia Qing withdrew from the competition because of injury.

So he turned to LV Haotian even though LV is a snooker specialist who had never played competition pool before. Despite his lack of experience in pool, LV steadily improved his cue shots with each frame and helped clinch the gold for China after a nerve-wracking final against the Chinese Taipei pairing of Cheng Yu-Hsuan and Ko Pin-Yi at the Billiards Sports Arena.

“All of it is different – the table is smaller but the pockets feel bigger which is good for me,” LV said. “At the beginning I didn’t have any confidence about playing pool because it was my first time. “After my first match I had a little confidence and then I had it in my mind to get the gold medal after yesterday’s match.”

Liu was full of praise for his new partner, saying the pair had struck up an instant friendship and would love to team up again in the future. “Our minds were very smooth. It was our first time playing together and so at first we did not have much thought about winning, so little expectation,” Liu said.

“During these days we got to know each other: we would eat together, walk together, talk together and built our chance to know each other.” The final was a tense affair with the Chinese saving their best until last. Trailling 7-6 in the first-to-9 format, they reeled off three successive racks to triumph 9-7 and relegate Cheng and Ko settled to silver.

“This is my first time at the Asian Indoor Games. I was a little bit nervous and I made many mistakes,” Cheng said. “Of course I am very disappointed because I made mistakes. I hope one day I can come back and take the title back.”

Ko also won silver in the singles in trying to defend the title he won four years ago, losing to his countryman Chang Jung-Lin 9-8 in the final after leading 8-6. “Just a little bit disappointed. We almost got the gold,” he said. “But now I will go back and practise more as practice makes perfect. And I need a little bit of luck too.”
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