Zhao Xintong wins another snooker title for China

New York, England: Zhao Xintong became the second Chinese player of the year to win one of the three major snooker titles when he won the UK Championship on Sunday.

Chow, 24, in the first final of his career, competed against Luca Briselle 10-5 in York, northern England, becoming the fourth non-British winner of the event.

It was my biggest game and it was my first time, Zhao said, so I did my best. I feel very happy now. I’m so excited.

China has long been seen as the country that will break Britain’s grip on backgammon, and another talented player, Yao Bingtao, won the Masters title in January.

The World Championships is the biggest snooker event and no Chinese has ever won it. Longtime Chinese snooker star and three-time British Championship winner Ding Junhui was a finalist at the 2016 World Championships.

Zhaos’ style of victory suggested there could soon be a shift in the balance of power in the sport to China, with big names such as Jimmy White and Ronnie OSullivan Zhao touted as the next big thing in snooker.

Six-time world champion Steve Davis said he has earned his credentials to be the first Chinese world champion. Everyone thought it might be Ding, but who could say that Zhao wouldn’t be the one to do that?

Zhao, who will move up to ninth in the world rankings, picked up prizes worth 200,000 pounds ($265,000) and secured a place at the Masters Tournament in the coming months in London.


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