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Mehta Continues Progress

Indian Aditya Mehta won his second match at the Wuxi Classic qualifiers as he continues his bid to reach the venue stage of a tournament for the first time.

The 26 year-old followed his impressive victory over the much-hyped Sam Baird on Tuesday with a 5-1 drubbing of veteran James Wattana on today.

Mehta put in some solid performances on the baize last season but eventually fell well below the Top 64 in the world rankings cut that guaranteed a place on the Main Tour.

However, even before the climax of the campaign at the Crucible, Mehta was already assured of another chance after winning the Asian Snooker Championship in April.

Mehta’s next opponent is another old campaigner in Jimmy White and if he can overcome that obstacle he will be only one match away from a flight to China at the end of the month.

In the last couple of years India has been heralded as a country that could indeed become the new China in the sport.

Potential ranking events have been rumoured in the hugely populated nation in the recent past but nothing has yet to materialise, somewhat surprisingly actually.

But the emergence of a successful player from the area could instil new life into any development in India, something that would be massive for a sport with global ambitions.

Another country that is already experiencing a surge in popularity is Belgium, following their highly successful staging of a PTC event last year as well as a certain teenager by the name of Luca Brecel bursting onto the world stage at the World Championship.

Brecel has evidently built on the confidence gained from that experience and edged Dechawat Poomjaeng 5-4 after hammering Daniel Wells in the opening qualifying round – with three centuries already to his name.

This is a big season for Brecel. Although he is still young and there is plenty of time for him to succeed yet, there will be a lot of pressure on his young shoulders following his mesmerising run to the Crucible a couple of months ago.

Despite an overwhelming presence of Englishmen at Q-School, there was a pleasant international flavour of victors on the opening day and that continued on day two.

Joining Mehta and Brecel in the penultimate round will be Malta’s Tony Drago, who enjoyed a 5-3 defeat of Adam Duffy, Thailand’s Passakorn Suwannawat, China’s Li Yan and Kurt Maflin representing Norway.

Welshman Michael White, a player who is expected to make the next step into the higher echelons of the game this season, was also victorious on his first outing of the 2012/13 campaign – a 5-3 win over tongue-twister Thanwat Thirapongpaiboon.

The other eight winners all hail from England with Jimmy Robertson, Simon Bedford, Mark Joyce, Rod Lawler, Barry Pinches, Alfie Burden, David Gilbert and Peter Lines all putting early Ws on the board.

Liu Chuang and Craig Steadman were locked at 4-4 at the time of writing.

The full draw and list of results can be viewed by clicking here

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