The 2019 Women’s World Snooker Championship has begun at the Hi-End Snooker Club in Bangkok on Thursday.
Originally scheduled for March in Beijing, the flagship event for the World Women’s Tour was forced to be postponed after the abrupt cancellation of the second World Snooker Federation (WSF) Championships.
With both tournaments initially meant to be contested alongside each other, instead the Women’s World Snooker Championship was forced to find a new destination.
Thailand, which has overseen an influx of talented young players from the Asian nation in recent years, thankfully stepped in to save this year’s edition.
Defending champion Ng On Yee heads a large field of 53 competitors, which represents more than half of the figure that entered in Malta last year.
The Hong Kong cueist is bidding for a fourth world title following additional successes in 2015 and 2017.
Ng, who alongside partner Ho Yee Ki reached the final of the inaugural Women’s Snooker World Cup earlier this week, will be among the favourites for glory again.
Of course, the 28 year-old’s primary rival will be Reanne Evans – with the Englishwoman attempting to add to her incredible collection of 11 world crowns.
Competition will undoubtedly come from various other sections of the draw, though.
Belgium’s Wendy Jans, who had dominated the IBSF World Championship until 2017, will be in the hunt.
The host country is well represented too with World Cup winning duo Waratthanun Sukritthanes and Baipat Siripaporn in the field for Thailand alongside emerging talent Nutcharut Wongharuthai.
Former Women’s World Snooker Championship runner-up Maria Catalano and Welshwoman Laura Evans are among the others looking to compete for the top prize.
They will be joined by numerous newcomers to the circuit with players from the likes of Iran, Japan, Russia, Malaysia, Singapore and India involved – making this one of the most international editions of the championship ever.
The format consists of a dozen round-robin groups before a knockout phase begins, comprising the best 24 players.
With a total prize fund of £15,000, the Women’s World Snooker Championship will conclude on Sunday and the winner duly being crowned.
Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)