Teenager Chang Bingyu has won the IBSF World Championship after an 8-3 victory over He Guoqiang in an all-Chinese final in Myanmar.
Chang, who lost to He in the last four of the IBSF World Under-18 Championship, bossed the showdown for glory at the Grand Mercure Hotel in Yangon.
The 16 year-old raced clear at the outset of the contest with breaks of 50, 64, and an excellent 130 helping him to establish a 3-0 advantage.
His opponent won two out of the next three frames to gain a foothold but Chang compiled a timely break of 56 in the last frame before the interval to lead by 5-2.
He, 18, constructed the only sizable contribution of the second session – a superb 126 that added to the 143 total clearance he made earlier in the competition that stood as the highest break of the IBSF World Championship.
But that was the only additional frame he could muster as Chang controlled the scrappier exchanges to take the three frames he needed for the title.
The victory prolongs Asian dominance in the event, with the last nine winners all hailing from the continent and Chang’s triumph adding to previous wins for China from Zhou Yuelong and Yan Bingtao – now young stars on the Main Tour.
Of course, back when they emerged with the trophy there was also the dangling carrot of a ticket onto the professional circuit on offer but that has been taken off the table after the formation of the rival World Snooker Federation Championship and the acrimonious parting of ways between the WPBSA and the IBSF.
It means that the IBSF World Championship, once the blue riband international amateur competition, is now in a somewhat strange position in that it doesn’t really provide any gateway into the higher echelons of the sport.
While still prestigious in terms of the roll of honour it boasts – with the likes of Jimmy White, Ken Doherty, Mark Allen, and Stuart Bingham all prior winners – it’s hard to take it as seriously as before.
This year, only one English player and no Scots took part, with both of those national federations publicly backing the newly formed WSF.
The Republic of Ireland Billiards and Snooker Association sent three players but a disappointing display resulted in only two scraping it beyond the group stages with both Greg Casey and Ross Bulman subsequently exiting at the early last 32 stage.
Defending champion Pankaj Advani of India, who beat Cork’s Bulman, lost to Poland’s Kacper Filipiak 5-2 in the last 16.
The Masters IBSF World Championship was defended by Welshman Darren Morgan while Wendy Jans six-year undefeated run in the Women’s event was ended in the final as she lost out to Thailand’s Warratthanun Sukritthanes.