Turkish legend to perform at Asian Billiards championships

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Semih Sayginer, named the best billiards player in the world in 2004, will appear in HCMC on Sunday

Vietnamese fans are looking forward to seeing famed Turkish carom billiards player Semih Sayginer, known also as Mr. Magic and the Turkish Prince, display his wizardry in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday.

On the occasion of the ongoing July 4-8 Asian Billiards Championships in Ho Chi Minh City from, the Vietnam Billiards Federation invited the 48-year-old former world champion for a two-hour demonstration.

Sayginer was the world champion for several years in the 1990s and was chosen the best billiards player in the world in 2004.

As planned, Sayginer will show off his skills from 5-7 p.m. on Sunday, July 8.

There are strong competitors from Japan, China, Indonesia and South Korea and the Philippines at the contest, but Vietnamese players can win the one-cushion carom event if they can handle the psychological pressure, according to coach Tran Dinh Hoa.

Dang Dinh Tien and Ma Minh Cam have had a lot of experience in international contests while young player Ngo Dinh Nai may spring a few surprises since he is in good form, Hoa said. The strongest rival for the Vietnamese players in the one-cushion carom event is Machida Tadashi of Japan, who has won the Asian championship several times.

In the three-cushion carom event, the Vietnamese players are expected to face a lot more difficulties when they clash with South Korean player Lee Chung, the world champion in 2010, South Korean star Choi Sung Won, ranked 7th in the world and Japanese contestant Umeda Ryuji, ranked 20th.

Semifinalists at this event will qualify for the World Championships 2012, which will take place in Porto, Portugal in September.

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