Wu, Rakin Tops World 9-Ball Junior In Sydney

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Two-time defending champion Taiwanese Wu Yu-Lun and Filipina-American Mary Ann Rakin dominates their respective brackets in the just concluded 2006 World 9-Ball Junior for boy's and girl's championships late Friday at the Sherbrooke Room, level 1 at the Holiday Inn here in Rooty Hill.

The 17-year-old Wu from Taipei defeated countryman Ko Pin-Yi (9-7) in the race-to-9, alternate breaks format in the finals to win the boys' crown in three consecutive years in this event organize by the World Pool-Billiard Association which is open to all cue artists 19-year-old and below.

On the other hand, the Daly City, California resident Rakin, who traced her roots from Cavite edges compatriot Anna Kostanian also from the United States (7-6) in the race-to-7, alternate breaks system in the championships round to capped the coveted girls' title.

This writer had a chance to talk in an exclusive interview with Wu, a sophomore student from Zuang Zing high school in Taipei through his interpreter Mr. Galaxy Hsieh, junior's Committee Chairman of Chinese Taipei Billiards Association.

“Gerald Lopez of Nicaragua is calm and careful about our game in the semi-final round. The Filipino player Rene Mar David is a good player but in an experience about his game against Gerald (Lopez) in the quarter-final round as far international competition as concern.” said Wu who beat compatriot and former world champion Wu Chia-Ching in the finals of the event two years ago.

About his game against Ko in the finals. “I was just lucky about my game to Ko Pin-Yi. He played very well despite I take a 6-1 commanding lead. He tied the game at 7-all count including his three incredible jump shots.” Wu added, who can still compete in the event for the next two years.

In a separate exclusive interview, lone Filipino entry 17-year-old Rene Mar David from Barangay Botocan in Quezon City added: “I learned so much my game against Gerald Lopez of Nicaragua. I will use it in my future local and international tournament.” David said who won his first three matches before falling to Gerald Lopez of Nicaragua, 7-9, in the quarterfinals, knock-out stage last Thursday.

Born in Apalit, Pampanga was raise in Candon City, Ilocos Sur, David whose stint here also supported by Raya Sports, the Philippines Sports Commission (PSC), Department of Tourism (DOT) assistant secretary Cynthia Carrion, Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP), Grand Sport, Rhadiola, ACCEL, MASCO head Ali Atienza, Bugsy's Promotion, BM Express, Lutong Pinoy Restaurant, Le Colonial Vietnamese Restaurant and Kingston Basketball Club.

This was the first time that the Philippines send a representative in this prestigious tournament which participated by Philippines, Taiwan, China, United States, Germany, Finland, Poland, Canada, Switzerland, Iran, Germany, Ukraine, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Korea, Japan, Republic of South Africa, New Zealand and host country-Australia.

Meanwhile, Asian Pocket Billiards Union (APBU) secretary Robert Huang revealed that the next year's World 9-Ball Junior for boy's and girl's are possible will be held either Australia or Costa Rica.