Beaten Chinese ready to take cue

Click to follow
The Independent Online

England opened their defence of the Coalite Nations Cup at the Hexagon, Reading, yesterday with a 4-1 win in Group A over China, who nevertheless promise to become a major force in snooker, granted more frequent experience of top-class opposition.

England opened their defence of the Coalite Nations Cup at the Hexagon, Reading, yesterday with a 4-1 win in Group A over China, who nevertheless promise to become a major force in snooker, granted more frequent experience of top-class opposition.

When Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis made a pioneering trip shortly after their epic 1985 world championship final, the best of China's few players were struggling to make a 30 break. But in the last few years the country has taken to snooker much as it took to table tennis 30 years ago. Snooker now appears on Chinese school curriculums, one club in Beijing has 200 tables and there have been capacity crowds for each of the three China Opens.

Da Hai Lin was one of four Asian qualifiers for this season's world-ranking circuit but, with his wife pregnant, did not travel to England to take up his entitlement. But he demonstrated his quality by making three centuries in the best-of-seven-frames match in the world amateur championship in Beijing, although yesterday he lost the opening frame to Ronnie O'Sullivan 73-40.

Marco Fu, born and resident in Hong Kong (except when he and his father live in their flat in Stirling or in hotels round Britain), became China's No 1 when his birthplace ceased to be a British colony. Now up to 15th in the world rankings after only two full seasons, Fu made a 50 break against John Parrott, but snookered himself on the last red and lost yesterday's second frame to the Englishman's last red-to-pink clearance.

Hasimu Tuerxun won three matches earlier this month at Harrogate to progress from pre-qualifying to the qualifying competition for the Embassy World Championship, but potted only one ball as Stephen Lee swept him aside with breaks of 54 and 79. He potted only two in losing to O'Sullivan, who thereby completed England's win.

Sandwiched between these two frames was China's sole success, a doubles win for Fu and Da over O'Sullivan and Lee.

Comments