As reported in January’s feature, Where Snooker Rules, the table sport has become a national pastime in many social circles and has generated youth academies around the city. Early this month, March 4 through 8, local athletes will put their skills to the test.
The newly operational Dongcheng Sports Park will host the Dongguan Open, one of four tournaments being held this snooker season on the World Snooker Asian Tour series. The small ranking events will allow players to earn Order of Merit points for the tour and could qualify competitors for the Players Championship Grand Final in the U.K.
The World Snooker Tour is organized by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), featuring international star, and China favorite, Ding Junhui and British phenom, Ronnie O’Sullivan. At printing time Head of Press Office Ivan Hirschowitz said that he was uncertain of which stars would attend, but he did say that fans would “see a very high standard of snooker, involving some of the leading professional players and some very promising Chinese amateur players.”
With a total purse of UKP 50,000, top prizes include RMB 102,000 for the winner, RMB 51,000 to the runner-up and RMB 25,500 for players in the semi-finals. Also yet to be confirmed was whether or not the tournament would be broadcast, but Hirschowitz said that, “if so it will be on our streaming channel www.liveworldsnooker.tv.”