World Championship Qualifiers End Today…
The 2022 Betfred World Championship qualifiers end today with the 16 qualifiers being announced for the final stages of the event to be held at The Crucible from Saturday, 16th April.
Already qualified into the draw are Stephen Maguire, Ding Junhui, Michael White, Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Jamie Jones, Ashley Hugill, a debutant, and Scotland’s Scott Donaldson and Lyu Haotian.
Eight more players will come through by the end of today with the draw for the Blue Ribbon event being made on Thursday.
For the second time in a matter of 7 years, Ding Junhui, China’s figurehead of snooker has had to come through the qualifying rounds, where, in 2016, he managed to reach the final of the World Championship as a qualifier but lost out to Mark Selby.
Ding played David Lilley in the final matches and was trailing 7 – 4 before his experience won through and denied Lilley, a World Seniors Champion a debut at the Crucible in the World Championship.
Ding said after to Rob Walker: “At 7-4 down I felt I couldn’t pot a ball,” said 14-time ranking event winner Ding. “He was playing very well. When I got back to 7-7 he started making mistakes. I tried to play better safety to keep him off the table. I am playing much better now than I was before Christmas. It will take time, but I believe I can find my best form again.”
The 16 qualifiers will be eagerly awaiting the annual draw to find out who plays the Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round proper at snooker’s home of the World Championship.
Bizarrely, Stephen Maguire, who came through a tough battle against Zhou Yuelong, told Eurosport with Rob Walker, after: I was just seeing gravestones and skulls.”
With the likes of Ding and Maguire in the draw, as well as Michael White, the first-round draws are always tough for the top 16 players, who have qualified by right as the best in the world.
Some of the players who have qualified for the Crucible are just a stone throw’s walk from the famous theatre of dreams at the Victoria Snooker Academy. Hugill, Haotian and others all learn from each other.
Victoria Shi, the owner of the Vic Snooker Academy said on Facebook: “Another player (Ashley Hugill, who moved from York to Sheffield to train at the Academy and cites in the Metro as having had inspiration from the Rocket) based at our academy who has improved beyond belief in recent months.
Adding: “We are proud of the atmosphere we have created which allows the players to learn from each other. We are taking lots of bookings for QSchool. Why wouldn’t players want to experience such a successful atmosphere?”
Players will battle for a top prize of 500K.
🔴 The Betfred World Snooker Championship 🔴
The drama has yet to be written… pic.twitter.com/zEdvgvc4kS
— Betfred (@Betfred) April 12, 2022
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