The PBA is now in its fifth season. TeamLeague is in its fourth season. In the first part of the interview, Im Rae, who has always maintained a steadfast attitude, talked about his past in a calm and collected manner.
Although he is a young player in his mid-20s, his professional career is not short. “I’ve been cueing since I was in elementary school, so I’ve spent half of my life on a pool table. As an athlete, you have to live your life with integrity and always keep yourself clean.
The title of “professional” is huge. It becomes a billboard for your company. You don’t want to be seen frowning, angry, or struggling. Throughout the interview, Im chose his words carefully as a professional athlete and used a calm tone to say what he wanted to say.
“I wasn’t good at hiding my emotions, and I used to feel good, bad, and sad,” he said. “Expressing emotions is just a human behaviour, but as a professional, you can be a role model for someone or a corporate image, so you shouldn’t convey negative feelings, and I always try to stay calm.”
Even Imae has a junior who gives her a thumbs up. This season, the LPBA welcomed Jang Ga-yeon, born in 2004. Considered the No. 2 amateur in Korea, Jang has a solid resume that includes winning the 2022 Korean Billiards Federation President’s Cup, the 2023 National Championship, and the 2023 Asian Championship runner-up.먹튀검증
“(Jang) just came over to the LPBA, and she’s really a player to watch, I mentioned earlier that she went to the Kangcha Billiard Institute, and that’s where she practices, and I personally think it would have been great to have her in the team league, she’s a lot younger than me, but the way she treats the ball, it’s like she got hit in the head with a ‘bang’, she’s going to be a really big player.”
One thing Im Rae particularly praised was Jang’s focus. She takes her cue in the morning and practices until the wee hours of the morning. Even though she is currently competing alone at a young age, she has the mental strength to control herself, which is something he would like to emulate.
In addition to Kudrong, the PBA, which is gradually expanding its pool of talented players, including Daniel Sanchez (Eswai Group), Semi Seiginer, and Choi Sung-won (Ideal Huons), held its first grand prize ceremony as a professional sport this year.
The inaugural PBA-LPBA Awards were won by Cho Jae-ho (NH Card) and Surong Piavi (Blue One Resort), while Im Rae-rae won the Best Dressed award after winning Best Women’s Singles. At the time, her elegant dress was the talk of the town. When asked about it, she was amused.
“Actually, I was going to wear a regular suit because I didn’t think I was going to get an award, but the association said, ‘You’re going to get an award, so you should wear a dress,’ so I looked up dress shops and saw how volleyball players and golfers wore dresses, and when I heard that I was going to get an award, I looked hard to contribute to the ceremony.”
At the time, Im Rae chose a pretty green dress that most closely resembled the colour of her team (former TS Shampoo Puradak). It was the most flattering outfit for her body type, but she couldn’t help but feel embarrassed.
“The dress was perfect, but as an athlete, I could see my weight, which was a bit embarrassing.”
“I really wanted to say this, that I am very grateful to the PBA for the launch of the PBA, and that it gave me the idea that ‘billiards players can have a career’,” said Im.
“In fact, it’s not the first time I’ve tried to launch professional billiards, and I’ve failed many times, and it probably wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the efforts of the people involved,” he said. “In fact, when I came over, it was a matter of my life, and I didn’t know what would happen if I came over vaguely without knowing whether the PBA would succeed or not, but I came over with the mindset that the ultimate purpose of sports is ‘professional’, and I wanted to be a player who could help the professional launch, and last year, when the PBA received the Sports Industry Award, the vice governor took me to that place,” he said, expressing his gratitude.
Finally, he thanked the fans who have been supporting him throughout his career.
“Thank you for sharing my joy, sadness, and various emotions with me, and thank you for being happy with me when I was happy, angry with me when I was angry, and cheering for me with the same heart. I will try to become a player you want to see even more.”