Back to ‘primary school’ for Ng On-yee as she takes aim at men’s world championship qualifiers
Newly crowned world champion is heading to Sheffield for the 128-strong qualifying event – one of two women, alongside England’s Reanne Evans, in the draw
It’s back to “primary school” for Hong Kong’s world snooker champion Ng On-yee, who is making hasty plans to travel to Sheffield, United Kingdom after being invited to compete in the men’s world championship.
The 26-year-old Ng lifted her second world title this month when she beat India’s Vidya Pillai in the final in Singapore – prompting an invitation from world body WPBSA to compete against the men in world championship qualifiers.
Ng’s debut against the men last year was something she’d rather forget, a 10-1 thrashing at the hands of Peter Lines. But the Hong Kong player said it was still a learning experience for her.
“With the experience I gained last week [in winning the title], I’m learning just like a primary student,” said Ng, who has four days to travel to UK to prepare for her first match.
“I’m quite surprised that I have been invited for a second time. I was excited the whole night after I heard the news. But time is running short and I need to fly there within four days. Thanks to my coach for arranging air tickets and hotel in such a short time.”
The draw for the 128-strong qualifiers, which also features 11-time women’s world champion Reanne Evans, of England, is expected to take place on Monday.
“This will be the first time two female players have been invited and it’s a big recognition for female players,” said Ng. “We are all excited about it.”
Ng’s coach Wayne Griffiths said the late invitation meant she had little time to prepare but she would be ready for her first match.
“She does not have too much time to prepare this time, but that is maybe not such a bad thing all things considered,” said Griffiths. “Given that she was travelling to the UK for another ladies event in early April, and off the back of her recent victory in Singapore, I am sure she will be ready.
“On-yee has worked very hard in the last year and she is definitely a much stronger player all round than 12 months ago.
“I expect any player she comes up against in Sheffield will be facing a stern test as they race to join the top 16 players in the Crucible only two weeks later.”
Taking part in the main tournament is Hong Kong’s world number eight Marco Fu, who is in fine form and won the recent Scottish Open.