World Games: Hong Kong’s Cheung Ka-wai stays on track for snooker medal after comeback win
- Hong Kong No 1 defeats teen amateur world champ Ahsan Ramzan in four frames to reach semi-finals in Alabama
- ‘Ka-wai wasn’t playing at his best because he was quite nervous. Hopefully he can play better,’ coach Alan Wong says
Cheung Ka-wai is on course to win Hong Kong’s first ever snooker medal at the World Games, after a quarter-final comeback win in Birmingham, Alabama on Friday.
The 23-year-old lost the opening frame to teen amateur world champ Ahsan Ramzan. But he stormed back to beat the 16-year-old Pakistani 10-59, 60-28, 67-60, 69-53.
Hong Kong No 1 Cheung will now meet Ali Alobaidli of Qatar in the last four, and his coach feels he will need to up his game.
“Ka-wai wasn’t playing at his best today because he was quite nervous. Hopefully he can play better in the semi-finals,” Hong Kong Sports Institute coach Alan Wong said.
A former world junior champion and a 2021 Asian Billiards Championships bronze medallist, Cheung got off to a fast start at his maiden World Games by defeating English veteran Wayne Brown 3-0 in the opening round.
“My preparation for the World Games has been fairly excellent, and my form has also been quite strong,” Cheung told the Post before departing for the United States. “But they are shorter matches [best of five frames] at the World Games, so we cannot afford to miss any shots.”
Billiards sports such as carom, pool, and snooker first featured at the World Games in 2001, when Hong Kong icon Marco Fu Ka-chun lost in the men’s singles quarter-finals. Former women’s world No 1 Ng On-yee lost in the first round of the mixed singles at the 2017 event.
If Cheung wins his semi-final on Saturday morning in Alabama, he will play for gold on the closing the day of the Games, with the bronze-medal match set for Saturday afternoon.
The other semi will be contested by Britain’s Darren Morgan, 56, and Egyptian Shahin Abdelrahman.
Muay Thai fighter Alex Tsang Ching-yee, who received a bye in the 57kg quarter-finals and will make her World Games debut on Saturday, is also gunning for a medal in Alabama.
But there was disappointment for Hong Kong’s four representatives in the orienteering on Friday, which took place around Southern Birmingham College.
Yu Tsz-wai finished 35th in the men’s sprint race in 18 minutes and 51 seconds, while Li Chun-ho placed 37th in 19:09.00, with New Zealand’s Tim Robertson winning in 14:17.00.
Lam Cho-yu finished 26th in the women’s sprint event in 19:20.00, while Leung Ka-ki finished 30th in 20:24.00. Switzerland’s Simona Aebersold topped the podium in 14:52.00.
Germany topped the medal table on Friday, having accumulated 21 golds, four silvers, and 14 bronzes.
Hong Kong have earned four bronze medals in all, with karate star Grace Lau Mo-sheung claiming the city’s first last week, followed by wushu athletes Michelle Yeung, Lee Wing-yung, and Yeung Chun-hei.