Hong Kong snooker stars on the ball
By Miranda Yeung
World number one snooker player John Higgins performed a come-from-behind victory at the Euro-Asia Snooker Master Challenge 2007 in Hong Kong earlier this month.
The champion shared his skills with local youth snooker team members.
One of the highlights of the tournament was the champions demonstration.
Higgins and Ken Doherty (world number four) gave intensive personal coaching sessions to the members of Hong Kong's youth snooker team.
The Hong Kong Billiard Sports Control Council organised the tournament, which attracted an audience of more than 10,000.
Eight top snooker players from Europe and Asia were invited to compete against local contestants in three events. In the final match of the Challenge, Higgins was tested by Thai snooker star James Wattana.
Wattana triumphed in the first two frames before Higgins took the third. Higgins hung on and won the last three frames to secure an exciting 5-4 win and HK$400,000 prize money.
European players had earlier dominated the tournament by winning the Euro-Asia Challenge 5-3.
In the separate Euro-Asia vs Hong Kong team challenge, the home team, which includes players Fung Kwok-wai, Chan Wai-ki, Chan Kwok-ming, Lin Tang-ho and Chan Hon-kwan, lost 1-4.
'It was amazing to meet these wonderful snooker players whom I always see on TV or in newspapers.
'And it was fabulous that we got the chance to learn from them,' said 20-year-old Alvin Wu Cheuk-lun.
'They taught me some useful skills and strategies, such as how to have better control of the cue balls and importance of arrangements of the cue balls.'
Wu, who has been playing snooker for eight years and has represented Hong Kong in the U21 Asian Championship in Doha, also admired the endurance the top players showed throughout the tournament.
'They all have great concentration and willpower during a match. I am much inspired by them and I am determined to improve to become a top snooker player.'