Promising Hong Kong snooker player Poon Ching-chiu has died after fainting during training at the Sports Institute on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old passed out during the practice session on Wednesday afternoon and was rushed to Prince of Wales Hospital where he was certified dead. The cause of death is not yet known.
His death was confirmed by the Sports Institute, who said in a statement on Wednesday night that it was “deeply shocked and saddened” to learn of the passing of the elite athlete.
“Ching Chiu was a promising young athlete. He became a HKSI Elite Scholarship Athlete in June 2019. His sudden passing is a huge loss to billiard sports,” the statement read.
It continued: “The HKSI extends its deepest condolences to Ching-chiu’s family and we will render our full support at this difficult time. We are also offering counselling support to his teammates.”
Poon was ranked fourth in the Hong Kong Under-21 billiard rankings and only became a full-time athlete at the Sports Institute in June after graduating from La Salle College last year.
The Hong Kong Billiard Sports Control Council said elite training was not too arduous and that the HKSI runs regular physical examinations on its athletes.
Poon took third place at the Hong Kong Under-21 snooker open championship this January and represented the city at the U18 and U21 world snooker championships. He also took bronze at the 2017 U-16 world championship.