Snooker News

Xu Si Claims World Under-21 Championship Crown

China’s Xu Si dramatically defeated Alexander Ursenbacher in the World Under-21 Championship final in Belgium on Thursday.

Xu Si

Xu Si with IBSF vice president Maxime Cassis – photo courtesy of the IBSF.info website.

The 18 year-old fought back from 5-3 down to deny the Swiss in a decider with a break of 69.

Xu had earlier dispatched of German Lukas Kleckers in the last four while Ursenbacher beat Ka Wai Cheung.

The final was a close affair throughout with the lead interchanging from the outset and never more than a single frame between them during the first six frames.

However, a 62 from Ursenbacher sent him 4-3 in front and the 20 year-old appeared to gain control when he moved further ahead to within one of the title.

But Xi claimed a tight ninth frame to reduce his arrears back to just one before runs of 59 and 69 helped him to become the third Chinese world under-21 champion in the last five years.

He also follows in the footsteps of China’s greatest snooker exports Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo, who were world champions in 2002 and 2005 respectively.

Not much is known about Xu yet, although he has competed on the Asian Tour in the past and was a wildcard in this season’s World Open, where he beat James Wattana.

It is now expected that the teenager will be given a two-year ticket onto the professional circuit starting next season.

Elsewhere in a busy two weeks of amateur snooker, Welshman Jackson Page won the Under-18 world title while Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan of Thailand, who already emerged victorious in the Ladies Under-18s, was denied in the final of the Under-21s by her compatriot Nutcharat Wongharuthai.

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