THE UPCOMING International Championship is expected to be a thriller after snooker’s top stars booked their ticket to China and survived the dreaded qualifying round.
All of snooker’s finest took to the Barnsley Metrodome on Tuesday and Wednesday in a bid to secure their place at the venue stage of the International Championship based in Chengdu starting on Sunday, October 27.
The tournament is one of biggest in the snooker calendar and carries a significant amount of ranking points and prize money – similar to the UK Championship.
Unlike last year year, the event is adopting the all new flat 128 player system where the top 16 players must earn their place in the competition by playing a first round qualifying match.
World champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, Ali Carter and Shanghai Masters winner Ding Junhui all won their last 128 matches with relative easier.
Defending champion Judd Trump and four-times world champion John Higgins were forced to battle out hard earned wins against Cao Xinlong and John Astley respectively.
But there was no joy for 2013 World Championship semi-finalist Ricky Walden. The world number eight failed to qualify after losing 6-2 to Indian star Aditya Mehta.
Chinese star Xiao Guodong, who reached the final of the Shanghai Masters earlier this month, continued his fine form with a 6-1 win over Jak Jones.
Legendary snooker favourites Jimmy White and Steve Davis both will play at the event after victories over Liam Highfield and Allan Taylor respectively.
Results in full (draw order)
Judd Trump 6-4 Cao Xinlong, Alan McManus 6-0 Darren Cook, Mike Dunn 6-3 Scott Donaldson, Ryan Day 6-3 Chris Wakelin, Ben Woollaston 6-1 Lee Spick, Fergal O’Brien 6-2 David Grace, Rod Lawler 6-4 Ian Burns, Aditya Mehta 6-2 Ricky Walden, Mark Allen 6-2 Chen Zhe, Tian Pengfei 6-0 Alexander Ursenbache, Dave Harold 6-5 Sam Baird, Pankaj Advani 6-3 Dominic Dale, Joe Perry 6-1 Tony Drago, Jamie Jones 6-4 Andrew Pagett, David Gilbert 6-2 Sean O’Sullivan, Shaun Murphy 6-0 Christopher Keogan, Barry Hawkins 6-1 Rhys Clark, Jimmy White 6-3 Liam Highfield, Steve Davis 6-2 Allan Taylor, Craig Steadman 6-1 Michael Holt, Xiao Guodong 6-1 Jak Jones, Alfie Burden 6-4 Daniel Wells, Adam Duffy 6-5 Michael Wasley, Marco Fu 6-1 Robbie Williams, Stuart Bingham 6-2 Ratchayothin Yotharuck, Robin Hull 6-2 Liu Chuang, Matthew Selt 6-0 Chris Norbury, Martin Gould 6-1 Fraser Patrick, Mark King 6-3 Lyu Haotian, Peter Lines 6-2 Hammad Miah, Jamie Burnett 6-2 Mohamed Khairy, Mark Selby 6-1 Martin O’Donnell, Neil Robertson 6-2 Li Hang, Alex Davies 6-5 Yu De Lu, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 6-3 Gerard Greene, Zhang Anda 6-4 Marcus Campbell, Peter Ebdon 6-2 Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon, Jack Lisowski 6-2 Vinnie Calabrese, Mark Joyce 6-2 Andrew Norman, Ali Carter 6-2 Barry Pinches, John Higgins 6-5 John Astley, Joe Swail 6-4 Dechawat Poomjaeng, Rory McLeod 6-3 Darryl Hill, Matthew Stevens 6-4 Mitchell Travis, Gary Wilson 6-2 Tom Ford, James Wattana 6-2 Jamie O’Neill, Cao Yupeng 6-4 James Cahill, Ding Junhui 6-0 Shane Castle, Stephen Maguire 6-1 David Morris, Kyren Wilson 6-1 Jamie Cope, Michael White 6-4 Alex Borg, Graeme Dott 6-1 Elliot Slessor, Mark Williams 6-1 Ahmed Saif, Paul Davison 6-3 Anthony Hamilton, Kurt Maflin 6-4 Luca Brecel, Robert Milkins 6-2 Noppon Saengkham, Mark Davis 6-3 Lee Page, Oliver Brown 6-3 Nigel Bond, Michael Leslie 6-4 Jimmy Robertson, Stuart Carrington 6-3 Ken Doherty, Li Yan 6-1 Andrew Higginson, Liang Wenbo 6-2 Ryan Clark, Anthony McGill 6-2 Ross Muir, Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1 Joel Walker