Ding Junhui Dynasty And China Snooker takeover
At the end of World Open held in China gives us the second best snooker player in the world. Ding Junhui wins the tournament with the class, winning his 13th ranking title. He dominates all other participants with his talent and jumps to 2nd position in ranking list.
The tournament was very competitive and entertaining at the same time. All the players did well but Ding Junhui got the spotlight after defeating Kyren Wilson by 10-3 in the finals. Ding Junhui scores 6-3 in the first half and at the evening settle it to 10-3. Kyren Wilson tried but gave up against Ding Junhui because of the bad start. Ding Junjui was awarded with 150,000 Euro.
The World Open makes the Chinese fans of snooker happy as their star claims the title which leaves an indelible impression on them. The support and cheering of Chinese fans is one of the motivations for Ding Junjui, the advantage in playing on home soil. World Open maintains its prestige and glorify the snooker event in history.
I am very impressed by the performance of all the players but dominating nature of Ding Junhui and his extraordinary performance blew my mind. These ranking events fill me with the excitement and joy and get me into the game completely once again. I can’t wait to see upcoming tournaments and can’t resist myself to thinking over and over again on the breath taking moments of the tournament. I wish luck to Ding Junhui and will keep an eye on his performance.
China will become the snooker superpower within the next decade, according to the sport's supremo Barry Hearn.
Ding Junhui's continued success, along with the country's size, outstanding facilities and infrastructure, is spawning a generation of stars - who Hearn believes will dominate snooker for years.
"I would think that in five years half of the top 32 players will be Chinese," Hearn, chairman of World Snooker,explained at World Championship 2017.
"Ding has been one of the fundamental reasons why snooker has got so big. He has been the flagbearer of Chinese snooker for the past 10 to 12 years.”
"He's inspired hundreds of thousands of Chinese snooker players and brought the game into the living rooms of the entire population."
An estimated 210 million people watched the 2016 World Championship on China's national state broadcaster, CCTV - with national legend Ding's run all the way to the final driving those startling figures.
Although the 30-year-old lost to world number one Mark Selby, Ding made history by becoming the first Asian player to feature in the final.
Snooker's biggest star in Britain, Ronnie O'Sullivan, also agrees with Hearn about China's inevitable rise.
"By 2025, you'll probably see the majority of the winners being Chinese," the five-time world champion said.
"The usual set of suspects will be there - Selby, Murphy, Trump, Kyren Wilson. But other than that I think it will be pretty Chinese dominated."
The Ding dynasty
I published his article in my monthly magazine Cue Sports way back in August’2002 when he won the Under 21 Asian Snooker Championship at age 15 at Grand Ball room of Kolkata Swimming Club in India. He was very shy at that time and even emotionless during the entire tournament but I spotted his talent and wrote about it in the article attached herewith for the readers.
Ding Junhui moved to England to pursue his snooker dreams at the age of 16
China's supposed takeover of a sport so long dominated by the UK and Ireland has been predicted for years, but it is only recently that it is truly beginning to back up Ding's breakthrough.
Ding won his first ranking tournament in 2005 - aged 18 - by beating seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry in the final of the China Open.
Later that year he becomes the first player from outside the UK and Ireland to win the UK Championship, beating another legend - six-time world champion Steve Davis.
Ding has remained a constant figure at the top of the game, winning a total of 12 ranking titles and the knock-on effect is clear.
Ding explained: "Before, they had a lot of snooker fans. But there was nobody who could win the tournaments, so year by year the fans were leaving the sport.
"Then after 2005, I won it and the TV showed more snooker. Then the people brought their cues back to the tables."
About 70 million people play cue sports in China each week, including eight- and nine-ball pool, with the best young players coming to live and practise at the CBSA World Snooker Academy in Beijing.
There are 30 pupils, ranging in age from six to 22 years old. Practice is relentless. They play from Monday to Saturday, from 09:00 until 17:00.
Three players have qualified for the main snooker tour since the academy opened in September 2013, including Yan Bingtao, who beat world champion Selby at the Welsh Open this season. There are 17 professional Chinese players on the main 128 snooker tour, with a further 12 from other parts of Asia.
Ding is idolised, as both Yan and teenager Xu Si, the 2016 World Under-21 champion, explain.
"I picked up the cue all because of watching him," said Yan, the world number 63. "He is like an elder brother to all of us. We worship him."
Xu added: "For us junior players our desire is generated by Ding winning those tournaments, thinking if he is Chinese, we are too. If he can do this, we can too."
The business of sport
The sport in the UK reached new heights in 1985, when a television audience of 18.5 million people watched Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis 18-17 in the famous black-ball World Championship final of 1985.
Hearn is proud of the numbers but mindful that those figures have since been dwarfed.
"We are terribly parochial - the English mindset. Or perhaps European mindset," Hearn said.
"Getting 18.5 million on the BBC, that's a fabulous figure, and will never be repeated again on terrestrial TV. But it's so tiny in comparison to the 400m people that watched last year's World Championships, because the game is global now."
Jason Ferguson, chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), the governing body to World Snooker, says that as a traditionalist keeping the tournament at the Crucible is "very important" while continuing to make the most of the growth in the Far East.
"In China, there's about 1,500 clubs in the big cities on average," Ferguson said.
"In the UK, sometimes we still carry a little bit of the old days of smoky halls. But here in China, we don't carry that reputation or that baggage. It's a clean market, it's a gentleman's sport, it's a global sport and it's a very good sport
"We could put more events on, but it's important to manage our sport. It's no good if it becomes just a Chinese sport. It's no good if it's just a UK sport."
I wish best of luck to Ding Junhui to lead the Chinese players into new era of Chinese domination in the world of Snooker and HOPE INDIA WILL TAKE A CUE FROM CHINA.