The World Women’s Snooker Championship 2018 and the WSF Seniors Championship 2018 concluded yesterday evening with wins from On Yee Ng and Igor Figueiredo.
Here are the reports on WPBSA
On Yee Wins Third World Women’s Title
Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee has defeated Maria Catalano 5-0 to complete the successful defence of her WLBS World Women’s Snooker Championship title and claim her third world crown overall on Saturday.
On Yee completed a dominant week in Malta with a convincing victory against world number four Catalano, who earlier in the day had stunned 11-time world champion Reanne Evans with a 4-3 win to progress to her fifth world final and first since 2013.
It was also a fifth final for On Yee, who last month became world number one for the first time in her career and following previous victories against Belgium’s Wendy Jans and third ranked Rebecca Kenna, routed Catalano to seal the title without the loss of a single frame.
The success sees On Yee become only the third player ever to win the title on three or more occasions, joining an elite group comprising Reanne Evans (11), Allison Fisher (7), Kelly Fisher (5) and Karen Corr (3).
The 27-year-old will also extend her lead at the top of the WLBS rankings when they are revised next week, while beaten finalist Catalano will rise one place to number three following her run.
A delighted On Yee later revealed that she came into the tournament carrying an illness, but that this could have actually worked to her advantage.
“I am absolutely over the moon to win my third title,” said On Yee. “I did not have great expectations coming into the tournament as I was coughing and sick so just tried to play every game, every ball. But looking back now I think that this took a lot of pressure off me and I started to play a little better.
“When I saw the knockout draw I thought that was a tough draw, playing Wendy Jans in the first knockout match, but I just tried to focus and to enjoy the games. I would like to say thank you to all of my team, including family and friends, as well as my coaches at the Hong Kong Sports Institute who have supported me even late at night.”
And having enjoyed her time at the tournament in Malta, the Asian star now turns her attention to Sheffield where she will compete at the professional World Championship qualifiers following her latest triumph.
“It has been great to be here in Malta for the first time with very nice weather, a beautiful ocean view for breakfast in the morning and to be surrounded by nice people.
“As well as the title, the most important thing for me is that I have now qualified to player at the professional World Championship in Sheffield which I am really looking forward to.
“The first time there when I played Peter Lines [in 2016] I was so nervous about the atmosphere that I did not play well. Last year against Nigel Bond I had more expectations, but I still didn’t play well, so hopefully this year I can just enjoy the match.”
Rebecca Kenna, who lost to On Yee in the SF, could be excused if she came into that match a bit jaded… Indeed she needed nearly six hours to defeat Yee Ting Cheung from Hong Kong in a true Selbyesque performance: she came back from 3-0 down to win 4-3. She was back on the table almost right away, this time facing the very dangerous Waratthanun Sukritthanes from Thailand who was seed n°2 after the knock-out stages. Again she trailed 2-0 before winning 4-2, past 1 am on the Finals day.
Maria Catalano played really well to defeat Reanne Evans by 4-3 in the semi finals. The match went on the last pink. For Maria this is a very important win because she had lost so many times to Reanne over the years that it must have been difficult for her to come into this match with the belief that she could win. But she did! It probably took a lot out of her though as she clearly had nothing left when facing On Yee Ng later that afternoon. Not taking anything from On Yee’s performance – she was the better player all week – but there wasn’t really a match, which, I’m sure, neither player liked.
Figueiredo Wins WSF Seniors Championship
Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo became the first winner of the WSF Seniors Championship on Saturday after he came from behind to defeat Welshman Darren Morgan 5-3 in the final.
The 40-year-old former professional from Rio de Janeiro reached the final following victory against Ireland’s Michael Judge earlier in the day, while Morgan held off UAE star Mohamed Shehab to book his place in the showpiece match.
It was in fact former world professional number eight Morgan who made the stronger start to the match, racing out of the blocks with a break of 116 in the opening frame on his way to a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval.
Back came Figueiredo however, winning four consecutive frames with a top run of 66 to claim the title and write his name in the record books as the first-ever winner of this prestigious new event.
The Brazilian most recently competed on tour during the 2016/2017 season, notably reaching the last 16 stage of both the Welsh Open and Gibraltar Open tournaments.
Both players will be back in action tomorrow in another historic new event, the mixed gender WSF Championships looking to emerge victorious from a 90-strong field containing many of the world’s finest amateur players.
Both Darren and Igor would be great additions to the World Seniors Tour, if things come to that!
Here are the images taken during the knock-out stages: