Snooker News

Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo Win World Cup for China

China A fought back from 3-1 down to pip England to World Cup glory in Wuxi on Sunday.

Ding Junhui Liang Wenbo World Cup

Ding and Liang beat Northern Ireland in the 2011 final. Photo credit: Tai Chengzhe

In doing so, Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo regained the title they first won together in Thailand six years ago.

It prolongs Chinese dominance in the tournament, with the last three editions of the World Cup going to the far east nation.

Teenagers Zhou Yuelong and Yan Bingtao stunned the snooker world when they emerged victorious on home soil two years ago, and they were narrowly denied a return to the final when England edged them in a deciding frame last four thriller.

Judd Trump and Barry Hawkins then took control of the final showdown against the flagship Chinese unit, establishing a 3-1 advantage to go to within a frame of a first World Cup success since 1989.

However, Ding pulled one back in front of a legion of home support before the Chinese pair prevailed in a dramatic sixth doubles clash which ebbed and flowed one way and then the other before Liang sank blue and pink to force the shoot-out.

Ding had the first opportunity in the decider and made a break of 59 before an unexpected miss allowed Trump in for a reprieve.

However, the world number three could only muster four points as he missed a long red and Ding got back in to complete the popular triumph.

Ding and Liang take home £154,000 for their efforts having earlier knocked out Wales and Thailand in the knockout stages this weekend.

The enthralling final brought to an end an interesting week of international pairs snooker.

It’s not a format which is loved by everyone but the event was a positive advert for snooker’s goal of becoming more global with semi-finalists Thailand, quarter-finalists Iran and Belgium, and surprise package Brazil all adding spice to the competition.

Ding’s effort to complete the victory was a fitting conclusion to the event, with a world star sealing the top prize for his country.

Indeed, for much of the tournament Ding carried the hopes of his nation as partner Liang struggled to produce his A-game.

Still, the success couldn’t have been possible without the efforts of the pair working together and the tension at the end was testament to how the pressure of playing for not just oneself can affect even the greatest stars in the game.

One thing is for certain, China continues to underline its credentials as the sport’s rising snooker nation.

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