Connect to share and comment

Snooker: Thai rookie leads Asian charge at worlds

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Thailand's rank outsider Dechawat Poomjaeng was on Tuesday on the verge of a famous win in the first round of the snooker World Championship.

The 24-year-old - ranked 70th in the world - led Scotsman Stephen Maguire 9-8 in the best-of-19-frame match.

It was a much better performance against last year's semi-finalist from the engaging Thai than the crowd might have expected after an inauspicious start.

He had got the entrance to the players arena wrong and then walked to the wrong table before the first session on Monday.

However, he faces a nervous wait as, so laborious was the match, that they had to be taken off before it could reach its climax and will have to wait until the end of the evening session before resuming.

Poomjaeng, who is just the third Thai player to play at the championship, was one of three Asian players looking good for the second round after Tuesday's early matches.

China's Ding Junhui led veteran Scot, and former semi-finalist, Alan McManus 7-2 after the first session in a game that will conclude on Wednesday.

Ding was in fine fettle against his 42-year-old opponent - who was making his first appearance at the Crucible since 2006 - and rattled in two century breaks.

Ding is bidding to improve on his woeful record in the championship, with a semi-final appearance in 2011 the only time he has gone beyond the second round.

Hong Kong star Marco Fu also enjoyed a profitable first session, ending it 6-3 up on experienced Welshman Mark Stevens in a game that will also finish on Wednesday.

Ding and Fu both abandoned the custom of walking out to music at the start of play in a show of respect for the victims of the China earthquake that has left over 180 dead.

Ding also played the session wearing a black armband.

pi/as

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130423/snooker-thai-rookie-leads-asian-charge-at-worlds