SHANGHAI - Aloysius Yapp became the first Singaporean winner in the nine-ball pool category at the Under-19 World Junior Championships, beating Chinese Taipei's Hsu Jui-an 11-10 in the final yesterday.
Playing in the alternate breaks format, the 18-year-old found himself 0-4 down at the start of the final. However, he called for time out to regroup himself, and when the match resumed, he capitalised on some unforced errors by Hsu and some stellar pots of his own to claw back to 6-6 at the halfway mark.
Still, Aloysius was not able to get in front until the final game, when a foul by Hsu meant he had the ball in hand, and he cleared the table to win the match and the title.
He said after the victory: "Despite being down, I was proud that I remained calm and never gave up. This win, and the way I won, they give me a lot of confidence and I really hope to do well for SEA Games next year and win in it for Singapore."
Aloysius, who has been playing competitively since he was 14, also earns a trip to next September's World Championship.
Said Christopher Chuah, president of Cuesports Singapore: "This is truly a momentous occasion, as no Singapore player has ever made it to the finals, let alone win the title in a World Championship event.
"He demonstrated tremendous resilience, control and fighting spirit. No doubt, this milestone event augurs well for our medal prospects at the upcoming SEA Games. Once again, our heartiest congratulations to Aloysius for his tremendous feat."
The World Junior Championship win makes it a fourth straight month that Aloysius has won a title. He won the Asian Junior Pool Champion in August, the National U-19 10-Ball Open in September, the National 10-Ball Open last month, and the National U-19 Nine Ball Open earlier this month.