defending champions world snooker championship
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QUIZ! Defending Champions in the World Snooker Championship

Judd Trump continues his reign on Thursday when he takes on Yan Bingtao in the second round.

There have been a total of 21 different defending champions in the World Snooker Championship since the inaugural staging at the Crucible Theatre.

Ray Reardon was the returning champ in 1977, having prevailed in the last World Championship before its move to the now spiritual home of the game in Sheffield.



The 1976 World Snooker Championship took place in both Middlesbrough and Manchester, with Reardon’s final against Alex Higgins contested over a whopping best of 53 frames.

After Reardon, 20 other players have enjoyed the experience of returning to the Crucible as the previous year’s winner at least once.

Some competitors, of course, have been bestowed the honour of launching proceedings on the opening Saturday on more than just one occasion.

But how have all of these champions managed twelve months on from when they etched their names onto the famous silverware?

A few of the defending champions in the World Snooker Championship were successful in ensuring that lightning struck twice, some others got tantalisingly near to repeating their fate from the previous year, while most of them of course failed to replicate the same level of form and bowed out in the early stages.

All of them, though, have fallen foul of the fabled Curse of the Crucible, in which no first-time champion has returned the next year to successfully defend his crown.

That hex is under threat in 2020 with maiden winner Judd Trump looking to break the hoodoo once and for all.

Trump emerged from a tricky first-round tie against Tom Ford this year with a 10-8 scoreline, and the world number one begins his last 16 encounter with Yan Bingtao on Thursday afternoon.

How far he’ll go remains to be seen, but history has proven that matching the prior year’s performance is not straightforward.

The question is, do you remember how well the defending champions in the World Snooker Championship have done?


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Featured photo credit: WST



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World Rankings Top 16

World Rankings after the Northern Ireland Open – won by Mark Allen.

1. Judd Trump
2. Mark Selby
3. Ronnie O’Sullivan
4. Neil Robertson
5. Kyren Wilson
6. John Higgins
7. Shaun Murphy
8. Stephen Maguire
9. Mark Allen
10. Ding Junhui
11. Mark Williams
12. Stuart Bingham
13. Yan Bingtao
14. Barry Hawkins
15. Jack Lisowski
16. Anthony McGill

Fin Ruane Snooker Academy