Event 2 of the 2019 Q-school started yesterday with 39 matches played. There were three walk-overs, all three because one of the players involved graduated through event 1.
Out of 39 winner, 13 are under-22 young players, none of them having been professional before. They are: Lewis Gillen (21), Pang Junxu (19), Long ZeHuang (22), Shane Castle (21), Dylan Emery (18), Keishin Kamihashi (18 – Japan), Aaron Hill (17), Jack Harris (19), Chae Ross (18), Fergal Quinn (19), Peifan Lei (15), Ivan Kakovskiy (20 – Russia) and Manasawin Phetmalaikul (20).
The three “lucky” boys who got a walk-over are all young as well: Daniel Holyda (20 – Poland), Dean Young (17), Noel Landers (19). None of them have been professional before.
Pang Junxu impressed last April when he beat Stuart Carrington by 10-6 at the World Championship qualifiers, before losing to Kurt Maflin by 10-7 in the next round. He’s certainly one to watch. It came a a surprise that he didn’t play in event 1.
So, again, this is a rather good outcome after the event’s first day.
Today, two women are in action. On Yee Ng faces Heikki Niva from Finland. It’s a pity that they have to clash in the first round. Both are very capable to win a few matches in this competition. Rebecca Kenna plays the very experienced Paul Davison. Bex has an excellent safety game but still needs to progress in the scoring department. It’s a tough task she faces here.
Jamie Cope withdrew from the event, and from event 3 as well. The reason for this is not officially known but we can reasonably suppose that, after the disappointment of losing in the first round in event 1, he didn’t fancy his chances in the next events. This is heartbreaking. Jamie is only 33 and he’s very talented. He reached the final of a ranking event twice: at the 2006 Grand-Prix and at the 2007 China Open. He had three 147 in official competitions, and his highest ranking was 13 (in 2010 and 2011). He reached the semi finals at the Masters in 2011, losing by 6-3 to Ding Junhui, the eventual champion. Jamie’s career was ruined by a crippling health issue: an uncontrolable tremor in his cueing arm. He was relegated from the main tour two years ago, after the 2017 World Championship.