Cuesports: China's Ding Junhui inducted into snooker's Hall of Fame

Ding Junhui at the World Snooker Awards ceremony at London's Dorchester Hotel on Thursday. He became the second Asian to be inducted.
Ding Junhui at the World Snooker Awards ceremony at London's Dorchester Hotel on Thursday. He became the second Asian to be inducted.PHOTO: XINHUA

LONDON • China's former world No. 1 Ding Junhui was inducted into the world snooker Hall of Fame at the annual World Snooker Awards ceremony on Thursday.

Ding, ranked world No. 6, became the 29th man to receive the honour which was introduced in 2011.

The 31-year-old, who has won 13 ranking events and had a huge influence on the growth of snooker in China over the past 15 years, became the second Asian to be inducted into the Hall after Thailand's Sindhu Pulsirivong, the long-serving president of the Billiard Sports Association of Thailand.

Jason Ferguson, the chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, praised Ding as a "great ambassador" for snooker.

"It is very difficult to comprehend the contribution Ding has made," he said at the ceremony at Dorchester Hotel in central London. "He is a great asset to the sport."

Ding, who won the World Cup with compatriot Liang Wenbo and the World Open this season, said it is a great honour not just for himself but also for his country.

"It's amazing to receive this award," he said. "I think this honour belongs to everybody who loves snooker and to the fans and friends who have been behind me over the years. I hope that they can come to share the honour with me."

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn was also inducted for his efforts in promoting the sport.

Ronnie O'Sullivan and newly crowned world champion Mark Williams each won two categories at the annual ceremony.

O'Sullivan took the main Player of the Year award after one of the best seasons of his career, capturing five ranking titles in a single campaign for the first time. The 42-year-old won the English Open, Shanghai Masters, UK Championship, World Grand Prix and Players Championship.

The five-time world champion also received the Fans' Player of the Year award, voted by thousands of fans on social media.

Williams, who won the World Championship last Monday for the third time in his career, was handed the Snooker Writers' Player of the Year award, voted by the sport's journalists. He also received the Performance of the Year award for his tremendous display at the Crucible.

The Rookie of the Year category was won by China's 20-year-old Xu Si, whose impressive debut season was highlighted by a run to the semifinals of the Indian Open.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2018, with the headline 'Ding, 31, inducted into snooker's Hall of Fame'. Print Edition | Subscribe