Women’s world champion Ng On-yee and rising star Cheung Ka-wai have been invited to compete in the 2016 World Snooker Championship qualifiers from April 6-13 in England. They will face off against players outside the top 16 to try to win one of 16 more spots that are up for grabs at the championship to be held at the famous Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, from April 16 to May 2.
Ka-wai, 16, booked his place in the World Championship qualifying round after winning the IBSF World Under-18 Snooker Championship (men’s category) in St Petersburg, Russia, in October last year. He also won the Hong Kong Under-21 Snooker Open Championship 2016 (Event One) on January 31 at World Snooker Club 147, in Sheung Wan, and reached quarter-finals of the 2016 ACBS Asian Under-21 Snooker Championship earlier this month, where he narrowly lost 4-5 to India’s Ishpreet Singh Chadha.
“I’m excited to be invited to compete in the World Championship qualifying round. It would be a wonderful experience playing against snooker stars from around the world,” said Ka-wai.
Ka-wai said he would need to improve his “power game” if he is to do well in the World Championship. “I have about a month left so I hope to hone my skills and play my best snooker.”
Ng, 25, captured her second IBSF 6Reds and team snooker championships title in Karachi, Pakistan, in August last year. She will defend her title at the World Ladies Championships in Leeds, England, from March 31 to April 5, before taking on the men in the qualifiers for the World Snooker Championships.
Wayne Griffiths, the head billiards coach at the Hong Kong Sports Institute, said both players would learn a lot from the World Championship.
“Both players’ goals will be more towards the process and performance rather than the outcome,” he said. “The chance to experience competing at the highest level, how they perform and handle themselves under pressure, and how they learn and grow from the experience will be the most important factors.”