Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo became the first winner of the WSF Seniors Championship on Saturday 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 professional number eight Morgan who made the stronger start to the match, racing out of the blocks with a break of 116 in the opening frame on his way to a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval.
Back came Figueiredo however, winning 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 prestigious new event.
The Brazilian most recently competed on tour during the 2016/2017 season, notably reaching the last 16 stage of both the Welsh Open and Gibraltar Open tournaments.
Both players will be back in action tomorrow in another historic new event, the mixed gender WSF Championships looking to emerge victorious from a 90-strong field containing many of the world’s finest amateur players.
View the draw for the WSF Championship HERE.
Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee has defeated Maria Catalano 5-0 to complete the successful defence of her WLBS World Women’s Snooker Championship title and claim her third world crown overall on Saturday.
On Yee completed a dominant week in Malta with a convincing victory against world number four Catalano, who earlier in the day had 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 On Yee, who last month became world number one for the first time in her career and following previous victories against Belgium’s Wendy Jans and third ranked Rebecca Kenna, routed Catalano to seal the title without the loss of a single frame.
The success sees On Yee become only the third 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.
“I am absolutely over the moon to win my third title,” said On Yee. “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.”
And having enjoyed her time at the tournament in Malta, the Asian star now turns her attention to Sheffield where she will compete at the professional World Championship qualifiers following her latest triumph.
“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.”
The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return for its final event of the 2017/18 season with the Women’s Festival of Snooker, which runs from 13-16 April 2018. Entries for the event are still being accepted HERE.
The allocated practice schedule for 18-21 March 2018 is now available:
You can also view the draw and playing schedule for the mixed gender WSF Championship tournament which starts on Sunday 18 March 2018.
Just four players remain at the semi-final stage of the WSF Seniors Championship following the conclusion of play on the third day of the event in Malta.
With the group stages having concluded on Thursday, 28 players began the day with their eyes on the prize, including a mix of former professionals and talented amateur players.
In the top half of the draw, former world professional number eight Darren Morgan justified his status as top seed by booking his place in the semi-finals for the loss of just two frames so far at the Dolmen Hotel. in fact those two frames came early in the day today as England’s Stuart Watson battled back from 3-0 down, before Morgan claimed the sixth frame of their encounter to progress a 4-2 winner.
Morgan then saw off local player Arthur Cachia 4-0 to set up a last four match against Mohamed Shehab of the United Arab Emirates, who also conquered Maltese opposition this evening to progress. Having earlier defeated Jersey’s Gary Britton in the morning, Shehab then added the scalp of 50-year-old Simon Zammit with a 4-1 victory to qualify for the final day.
The second semi-final will be contested between former professionals Michael Judge and Igor Figueiredo, but not without a scare for both players today.
Ireland’s Judge was seeded through to the last 16 stage following his strong performances in the groups but had to come through a deciding frame against Steve Mifsud to reach the quarter-finals in his first Friday match. His next opponent Kristjan Helgason of Iceland too put up a stern fight with breaks of 90, 71 and 46, but it was Dublin’s Judge who would prevail a 4-2 winner.
Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo awaits after the popular player overturned a 2-0 deficit against home player Jason Peplow to qualify for the last four. Earlier in the day Figueiredo had recorded a comfortable 4-0 success against Irishman Nigel Power.
The remaining players will resume at 10:00am on Saturday morning, ahead of a best of nine frames final scheduled to take place at 3:00pm local time.
The knockout draws for the 2018 World Women’s Snooker Championship and WSF Championship events in Malta are now available:
For full information and results from the WSF Championships please click HERE.
Today marked a historic day for snooker as play started at the first-ever World Snooker Federation Championships at Malta’s Dolmen Hotel.
The Championships were formally launched ahead of Wednesday’s opening session with a welcome ceremony led by WSF General Secretary and Competition Manager Maxime Cassis, together with WSF Vice-Chairman Nigel Mawer and World Ladies Billiards and Snooker President Mandy Fisher.
Play then began with action from the 37th staging of the WLBS World Women’s Snooker Championship and the inaugural WSF Seniors Championship events. Both tournaments will run across four days, ahead of the start of the mixed gender event on Sunday.
Both the Women’s and Seniors competitions carry a top prize of €6,000, with the eight quarter-finalists of each event to earn their place in the mixed gender event which will offer the winner the opportunity to play at the professional World Championship qualifiers in Sheffield, England, next month.
Top Seeds Impress in Women’s Event
There was a strong start to the tournament for many of the top seeded players in the World Women’s Snooker Championship event as the likes of defending champion Ng On Yee and 11-time winner Reanne Evans opened with convincing victories in Malta.
Evans began the day with a 3-0 win against Brazil’s Fatima Gusso Rigoni, including top breaks of 61, 48, 38 and 35, before On Yee took to the baize in the final session to whitewash Poland’s Ewelina Piślewska.
Morgan Makes Statement of Intent
Welshman Darren Morgan made an impressive start to his latest quest for international glory with a high-scoring opening victory against Bulgaria’s Boris Lazarkov.
The former world professional number eight hit breaks of 124, 77, 50 and 41 to underline his credentials as one of the tournament favourites.
Among the other winners on day one included former Grand Prix semi-finalist Michael Judge (whose sister Paula is also in Malta competing in the women’s event), and Iceland’s Kristján Helgason who had runs of 65, 58 and 43 during a 3-0 success against England’s Colin White.
It was also a strong start to the competition for host country Malta, with several of their players including Simon Zammit, Jason Peplow and Frans Abdilla winning their openers.
The WSF Championships continue with the final round robin matches of both events on Thursday, with the top two players from each group progressing to the knockout rounds.