Fan Zhengyi Wins World Under-21 Championship
Fan Zhengyi won five out of the last six frames to beat Luo Honghao 7-6 and become the 2017 world under-21 champion on Sunday in China.
The all-Chinese affair guaranteed a second successive world under-21 title for China, and its fourth in the last six years in the tournament.
Luo had been the favourite as the top seed having emerged from his round-robin preliminary stage without losing a frame.
The 17 year-old subsequently dropped only five frames as he romped through the knockout rounds with ease to reach the final.
It looked like it was going to be Luo’s championship when he raced into a 3-0 lead against Fan, but the 16 year-old opponent picked himself up and battled his way back into contention – snatching the last three frames for a famous deciding frame triumph.
The World Under-21 Championship is one of the most prestigious international amateur events on the calendar and Fan joins the likes of past champions Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ding Junhui, Peter Ebdon, Neil Robertson, and Ken Doherty on the roll of honour.
Arguably most important is the two-year Main Tour card that Fan will be expected to receive in 2018.
Fan’s victory, in which he also compiled the tournament’s highest break with a superb 135 in the last 32, prolongs Asian dominance with the last seven champions hailing from the continent.
Indeed, three Chinese competitors contested the last four in Beijing with Welshman Tyler Rees the sole representative from Europe.
Ireland’s Noel Landers enjoyed a memorable run too, with the 17 year-old exiting to Zhang Jiankang in the quarter-finals.
The women’s under-21 crown went the way of Thailand, with Nutcharat Wongharutahi denying the host nation a home double as she defended her title with a 5-3 success over Yuying Xia in the final.