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Ng On-yee

Forbes honours Hong Kong’s Ng On-yee: snooker world champion makes 30 Under 30 list

The world number one joins the likes of golfer Hideki Matsuyama and ski jumper Sara Takanashi in the list of elite young people from around the world in the annual list

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 March, 2018, 11:38am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 March, 2018, 10:03pm

Three-time world champion Ng On-yee is hoping her latest elite honour – bestowed by Forbes – will help raise the profile of Hong Kong sports on a global scale and give her extra incentive to perform against the men in the world championship qualifiers.

One day after winning Hong Kong’s Best of the Best sports star award, Ng was included in Forbes’ list of 30 under 30 Asia in the entertainment and sports category, joining the likes of Japanese golf phenomenon Hideki Matsuyama, Japanese ski jumping star Sara Takanashi, South Korea’s Olympic skeleton champion Yun Sung-bin and Australian actress Emily Browning, among others.

After learning of her place in the elite 30, Ng tweeted: “Surprised yet honoured to be listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2018 with all the other amazing individuals from different categories! Always proud to see Hong Kong Sports gain international recognition! Definitely great fuel for my upcoming World Championship Qualifiers.”

The 30 Under 30 Asia is Forbes’ annual list of names celebrating youth from across Asia who are honoured for being “innovators and disruptors”. In its third year, it features 300 young people from 10 categories “who are re-inventing their industries and driving change across this diverse region”.

“Representing 24 countries across Asia-Pacific – including Azerbaijan and North Korea for the first time – these finalists were selected from thousands of online nominations, researched by our team of reporters and vetted by a panel of expert A-list judges, to make sure they’re worthy of a spot on this prestigious list,” it says on its website.

With regard to Ng, Forbes goes rather overboard in depicting Ng as overcoming many hardships to reach the top of her profession, having this month won her third world title after becoming the first Asian to be ranked number one in the world in February.

While Ng certainly had to battle difficulties in pursuing excellence, she is among the best-looked after female snooker players in the world thanks to her scholarship with the Hong Kong Sports Institute and her access to facilities, finance and top coaches.

Forbes says of Ng: “In late February 2018, she became the first Asian woman to top the World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) rankings. Ng started playing when she was a teenager, after her father brought her to a competition he had played in.

“Snooker is a popular game with many Hongkongers, but resources for female players often fall short. Ng managed to overcome adversity to snag her historic win, and is using her profile to attract more women to the sport.”

Ng’s women’s world title earns her a place in the qualifying rounds of the men’s world championship, which will be held from April 11-18 at the English Institute Of Sport in Sheffield.

Ng will be among 128 players hoping to join the world’s top 16 in the main competition at the Crucible from April 21 to May 7. She needs to win three matches to fulfil her ambition, having failed to reach the final stages in her past two attempts.