Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee defeated Maria Catalano 5-0 to complete the successful defence of her World Women’s Snooker Championship title on Saturday.
On Yee completed a dominant week in Malta with a convincing victory against world number four Catalano, who earlier in the day stunned 11-time world champion Reanne Evans with a 4-3 win to progress to her fifth world final and first since 2013.
It was also a fifth final for the recently turned world number one and, following victories against Belgium’s Wendy Jans and third ranked Rebecca Kenna, On Yee routed Catalano to seal the title without the loss of a single frame.
The success sees On Yee become only the fifth player ever to win the title on three or more occasions, joining an elite group comprising Reanne Evans (11), Allison Fisher (7), Kelly Fisher (5) and Karen Corr (3).
The 27-year-old will also extend her lead at the top of the WLBS rankings when they are revised next week, while beaten finalist Catalano will rise one place to number three following her run.
A delighted On Yee later revealed that she came into the tournament carrying an illness but that this could have actually worked to her advantage during the week.
“I am absolutely over the moon to win my third title,” said On Yee, who as a result of her success will gain an invite into the professional World Championship qualifiers in Sheffield next month.
“I did not have great expectations coming into the tournament as I was coughing and sick so just tried to play every game, every ball, but looking back now I think that this took a lot of pressure off me and I started to play a little better.”
“When I saw the knockout draw I thought that was a tough draw, playing Wendy Jans in the first knockout match, but I just tried to focus and to enjoy the games.
“I would like to say thank you to all of my team, including family and friends, as well as my coaches at the Hong Kong Sports Institute who have supported me even late at night.
“It has been great to be here in Malta for the first time with very nice weather, a beautiful ocean view for breakfast in the morning, and to be surrounded by nice people.
“As well as the title, the most important thing for me is that I have now qualified to player at the professional World Championship in Sheffield, which I am really looking forward to.
“The first time there when I played Peter Lines [in 2016] I was so nervous about the atmosphere that I did not play well.
“Last year against Nigel Bond I had more expectations, but I still didn’t play well, so hopefully this year I can just enjoy the match.”
Meanwhile, Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo became the first winner of the WSF Seniors Championship after he came from behind to defeat Welshman Darren Morgan 5-3 in the final.
The 40-year-old former professional from Rio de Janeiro reached the final following victory against Ireland’s Michael Judge earlier in the day, while Morgan held off UAE star Mohamed Shehab to book his place in the showpiece match.
It was, in fact, former world number eight Morgan who made the stronger start to the match, racing out of the blocks with a superb break of 116 in the opening frame on his way to a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval.
However, Figueiredo fought back to win four consecutive frames with a top run of 66 to claim the title and write his name in the record books as the first ever winner of this new international event.
All the quarter-finalists in both the World Women’s Championship and the WSF Seniors Championship gain an invitation to compete in the flagship WSF Championship, which gets under way on Sunday at the Dolmen Hotel.