Congratulations Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon and Muhammad Asif
Here are the reports by WST …
Poomjaeng To Face Tirapongpaiboon For Tour Card
Dechawat Poomjaeng moved within one win of a return to the World Snooker Tour by beating Hamza Akbar 4-2 in the quarter finals of Asia-Oceania Q School event one.
Poomjaeng, best known for beating Stephen Maguire at the Crucible in 2013, last played on the pro circuit in 2017 and will win back his place if he beats Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon in a Thai derby in the semis in Bangkok on Sunday.
Tirapongpaiboon is renowned as the youngest player ever to make an official 147, achieving that feat at the age of 16 in 2010. He last played on the pro tour in 2016 and moved a step closer to a return today by scoring a 4-2 victory over Pongsakron Chongjairak.
The other semi-final will be between two players from Pakistan looking to earn a place on the main circuit for the first time. Asjad Iqbal beat Temuujin Enkhbold 4-0 and he now meets Muhammad Asif who edged out Anekthana Sangnil 4-3.
The tournament consists of two events, with the finalists from both to earn a two-year card to the World Snooker Tour. The four successful players will be awarded a place on the professional circuit for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons. The final event finishes on June 11th.
Tirapongpaiboon Set For Tour Return
Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon is set for a return to the World Snooker Tour for the first time since 2016, having beaten Dechawat Poomjaeng 4-2 in the semi-finals of Asia-Oceania Q School event one.
Pakistan’s Muhammad Asif won the other semi-final and now has the chance to join the pro tour for the first time.
Tirapongpaiboon previously played in the circuit between 2010 and 2016. The Thai’s most significant achievement came in 2010 when, at the age of 16, he became the youngest player to make an official 147.
The 28-year-old has now earned the chance to compete on the circuit for the next two seasons, thanks to victory over countryman Poomjaeng in Bangkok.
Former World Amateur Champion Asif, age 40, scored a 4-2 success over fellow Pakistan player Asjad Iqbal.
This is the first ever Asia-Oceania Q School, giving players in the region the chance to graduate to the main tour.
The second of two events gets underway on Tuesday, with two more tour cards to be awarded to the two finalists.
Interestingly our two laureates have played each other twice before in high profile competitions, with Asif winning both encounters by 6-4: in the 2019 Amateur World Championship QFs and in the 2015 6-reds World Championship Last 32.
Asif has won the Amateur World Championship twice: in 2012 in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he beat Gary Wilson in the final, and in 2019, in Antalya Turkey, where he beat Jeffrey Roda in the final. Jeffrey Roda is also involved in this year Asia-Oceania Q-School; in event 1, he was narrowly beaten (4-3) by Dechawat Poomjaeng in round 2.
Dechawat Poomjaeng was certainly the most entertaining player in the event so far. Many would want to see him back on tour!
The events organisation by the host country, Thailand, has been quite good so far. Live scores were working and up-to-date, conditions looked OK albeit a bit slow and heavy as is usyally the case in Asia, most matches were streamed in very decent quality and the commentary … has been truly amusing despite the fact that I don’t get a single word of it! 😂