16 World Championship qualifiers
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The 16 World Snooker Championship Qualifiers Confirmed

Judgement Day concluded on Wednesday with 16 qualifiers sealing their places in the 2022 World Snooker Championship.

Former world number one Ding Junhui and two-time Crucible runner-up Matthew Stevens were among the competitors who made it through the final round.

Ding, who has returned to some form of late after dropping way down the rankings, fought back from 7-4 behind to beat amateur David Lilley.

Stevens also retrieved a large deficit, trailing 4-0 and 8-6 to Ali Carter before emerging with his spot in Sheffield.

The Welshman had entered the preliminary competition with tour survival in mind, but with that already assured he can now focus his attentions on another deep run at the Crucible.

Stephen Maguire, David Gilbert, and Hossein Vafaei are other notable names who most top 16 members will hope to avoid in the first-round draw.

Maguire overcame Zhou Yuelong to continue his streak of having featured at the venue stages of every World Championship since 2004.

Gilbert thrashed Anthony Hamilton 10-3, while Vafaei held on in a dramatic fixture with Lei Peifan – the only Judgement Day tie that needed a decider.

There will be three debutants among the 16 World Championship qualifiers, with Shoot Out champion Vafaei joined by 20 year-old Jackson Page and Ashley Hugill.

Page boasted a brace of tons in a 10-6 beating of David Grace and will represent a potentially unpredictable and dangerous young threat.

It was a fantastic qualifying event for the Welsh contingent overall, with Jamie Jones, Jamie Clarke, and Michael White qualifying alongside Stevens and Page.

White’s progress from the first of four qualifying rounds ensures that he’ll bid farewell to his amateur status and return as a Main Tour professional in time for the next campaign.

Hugill, meanwhile, will be the third Crucible rookie in 2022 after beating Joe O’Connor 10-7 at the English Institute of Sport.

There will be two players from Thailand involved, with Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Noppon Saengkham securing tight triumphs over Matthew Selt and Robert Milkins respectively.

A disappointing week for the large Chinese contingent ended with only Lyu Haotian joining Ding as a qualifier – with Zhao Xintong and Yan Bingtao already in the draw as top 16 members.

Elsewhere, Chris Wakelin and Liam Highfield secured returns to the Crucible – matching each other’s achievements of having qualified in 2018, 2021, and now again in 2022.

Scott Donaldson, meanwhile, was the most convincing qualifier after the former Championship League winner hammered Allan Taylor 10-1 in Sheffield.

The eagerly anticipated draw for the first round of this year’s tournament will take place at 11am (BST) on Thursday morning.

16 World Championship Qualifiers

Hossein Vafaei
David Gilbert
Ding Junhui
Jamie Jones
Noppon Saengkham
Stephen Maguire
Liam Highfield
Scott Donaldson
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Matthew Stevens
Chris Wakelin
Lyu Haotian
Jamie Clarke
Ashley Hugill
Jackson Page
Michael White

Featured photo credit: WST

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