Chinese snooker star Ding Junhui will become the first Asian player to top the snooker world ranking by the end of the week. The Chinese ace will officially overtake Englishman Mark Selby as top of the ranking despite Ding's surprising third-round defeat in the Snooker UK Championship 2014 on Wednesday. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, the governing body of professional snooker, will officially recognise Ding’s position when it updates the official player rankings at the end of the championship on Sunday. Ding, 27, rallied from a record-equalling five ranking titles last season and entered the Championship as world number two, and was on his way to the top spot after Selby’s early elimination last week. But Ding stumbled on Wednesday when he suffered a shocking defeat to world number 100, James Cahill. But it was the equally upsetting loss of defending champion Neil Robertson, another contender for the world number one spot, to Graeme Dott in the final 16 that sealed Ding's rise. “It’s a great honour as a Chinese to become the world number one,” the two-time UK Championship winner told official Xinhua news agency. “I am very proud." Ding will become the 11th world number one in snooker history, after Ray Reardon, Cliff Thorburn, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Mark Williams, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Robertson, Selby and Judd Trump. “Congratulations to Ding as the first Asian player to become world number one, it’s a great achievement,” World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said. “The goal for him is out there now: can he win the World Championship and bring the crown back to China?" Asians have figured but never reached the top of the rankings in previous years. Thai professional snooker player James Wattana in the past held the world number three, the highest-ranking among Asian players.