A Natural Born Talent of Snooker-DING JUNHUI

The Chinese sensation Ding is one of the few snooker players who are naturally talented snooker player; of course Roonie is on the top of the list. Ding widely considered being the best Chinese player ever in any sports.

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.

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His natural talent is underlined from the following facts:-

  •  He began training in snooker at age nine.
  • Ding practised for eight hours a day, seven days a week, since taking up the game under the watchful eye of Chinese pro Guo Hua in his home city of Guangzhou.
  • He rose to international prominence in 2002 after winning the Asian Under-21 Championship, the Asian Championship, and becoming the youngest winner of the IBSF World Under-21 Championship at age 15 in .
  • His parents sold their home to support his career as a snooker player.
  • Ding turned professional in 2003, at the age of 16. He achieved his first major professional successes in 2005 when he won the China Open and the UK Championship. After his win at the 2006 Northern Ireland Trophy, Ding became the third player after Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins to win three ranking titles before their 20th birthday.
  • Ding is the first player to win the UK Championship having started at the first qualifying round stage, winning nine matches.
  • The first maximum, at the 2007 Masters, made by Ding, at the age of 19 years and 7 months, the youngest player to have made a televised 147.
  • He remains the only Asian player to be ranked world number one, a feat he first achieved in 2014 to become the 11th player to reach the top spot. 
  • In the 2013/2014 season, Ding equaled Stephen Hendry's record of winning five ranking titles in a single season.
  •  He became the first Asian player to reach the final of the World Championship, in 2016.
  • He has so far won a total of 12 major ranking titles, the most recent being the 2016 Shanghai Masters. 
  • Known as a prolific break-builder, Ding has compiled more than 450 century breaks in his career including six maximum breaks in professional play.
  • He is the most successful Asian player in the history of the sport.
  • He is an expert at power napping and can often be seen curled up in the corner of his dressing room, even during the 20-minute interval between sessions. 

With the age to his advantage I am very sure that he will win many more professional titles and break many records in future. 



Written By : Ravindra Kumar Gupta

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