China win snooker world cup
Zhou Yuelong and Yan Bingtao from China B’s team, who are just teenagers, won the Nongfu Spring World Cup in their home country, and they did so beating Scotland 4-1 in the Wuxi final.
It’s not the first time that China wins the tournament, they previously beat Northern Ireland in the final in Thailand in 2011.
On that occasion it was Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo who took the trophy. This time the host nation was allowed to enter two teams into the 24-team tournament, and it was their B pairing of 17-year-old Zhou and 15-year-old Yan who stole the show with a series of brilliant displays.
After coming through the group phase then knocking out Australia and Wales, they beat experienced Scottish duo John Higgins and Stephen Maguire in the final to claim the $200,000 top prize and underline China’s status as a growing force in the global game.
Zhou and Yan have both won the World Amateur title and both look to have the potential to follow in Ding’s footsteps and become regular winners on the professional circuit. Zhou scored some impressive results during his rookie year on the tour last season, while Yan is now debuting on the circuit.
China stormed into a 3-0 lead in the final as Yan beat Higgins in the opening frame with a break of 100, Zhou saw off Maguire with runs of 44 and 51, then the home favourites added a doubles frame.
Maguire took frame four against Yan, but Zhou’s 33 clearance in frame five against Higgins gave China the title.
Earlier in the semi-finals, Scotland beat India 4-3, with Maguire taking a dramatic final frame on the last pink after Aditya Mehta had missed a match-winning chance. China B edged out Welsh duo Mark Williams and Michael White 4-3.
The editorial unit
Results (quarter-finals onwards)
Scotland 4-1 China A
India 4-1 Belgium
Wales 4-1 Thailand
China B 4-2 Australia
Scotland 4-3 India
China B 4-3 Wales
China B 4-1 Scotland