Three Chinese players lose in third round at Snooker World Championship qualifiers


LONDON, July 27 (Xinhua) — China’s Lu Ning battled until the early hours on Monday but still lost to Liam Highfield 6-5 in the third round of the Snooker World Championships qualifiers in Sheffield.

Prior to Lu’s defeat, China’s Tian Pengfei lost to Thai Sunny Akani 6-3. Luo Honghao was defeated by Stuart Carrington 6-4.

Lu Ning, world number 51, came from 1-3 down to lead 5-4, but the world number 60 Highfield held his nerve to narrowly win the 10th frame before taking victory in the deciding frame 87-47.

The qualifying event began behind closed doors on Tuesday at the English Institute of Sport with 128 players battling for 16 spots in four rounds.

Liang Wenbo is the only Chinese player who still has a chance to reach the final stages at the World Championship. The world number 34 defeated Alfie Burden 6-2 on Saturday and will meet Fergal O’Brien in the last round.

The 33-year-old Liang’s best result at the World Championship was a quarterfinal finish in 2008.

The World Snooker Championship will be staged at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre from July 31 to August 16. Reduced crowds will be permitted to attend every session, as the tournament is one of the pilot events ahead of the full, socially-distanced return of sporting events in England from October 1.

China’s Ding Junhui and Yan Bingtao have already earned their places in the final thanks to their top 16 rankings, along with defending champion Judd Trump, veteran John Higgins and five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan. Enditem


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