Cue Sports: S'pore takes cue for world meet

Historic decision as Republic chosen to host Ladies World Snooker C'ship for first time

Ng On Yee, Hong Kong’s world No. 3 women snooker player.
Ng On Yee, Hong Kong’s world No. 3 women snooker player. PHOTO: NG ON YEE/ TWITTER

The biggest tournament in women's snooker will hit local shores in March.

From March 13-19, Safra Toa Payoh will play host to the world's top players as the venue for the £15,000 ($26,200) Ladies World Snooker Championship.

It is the first time the entire competition will be played outside the United Kingdom. India twice hosted the tournament from the quarter-final onwards in the 1990s.

Leading names like 11-time world championship winner Reanne Evans and world No. 3 Ng On Yee are expected to headline the event.

Singapore will also field a six-strong contingent for the event.

Yesterday, World Ladies Billiards and Snooker Association (WLBSA) president Mandy Fisher told The Straits Times in a phone interview: "We've been meaning to take the competition around the world and it is wonderful to start in Singapore.

"We've seen pictures and it looks like a fantastic venue."

The agreement is for one edition to be held here although Fisher said she is open to hosting future tournaments in Singapore.

"We want to see how well it goes but it is my ambition to put women's snooker on the map and make it successful. We hope it'll be a complete success and it'd be great to have a bigger and better event next year."

The Englishwoman said discussions to hold the tournament here started a year ago, first with Cuesports Singapore president Christopher Chuah and later with the relevant authorities.

Local sport governing body Sport Singapore is a partner of the event.

Chuah said: "We hope that the event will raise the visibility of Singapore and profile of the sport and we look forward to welcoming all the top lady players from around the world."

With up to 40 of the world's best players expected to sign up, both Fisher and Chuah hope the tournament will raise the sport's profile here.

Fisher, who is also a former world champion, said she is more than happy to speak with budding players.

The 55-year-old said: "We don't know how much time the ladies have (to hold workshops) because they will be preparing for the world championship but I'm sure if there's an opportunity for that to happen, we'll do it.

"I've been involved with the association for 36 years, I've got a bit of knowledge and I'm willing to help anyone."

Singapore player Jessica Tan, 24, said: "It's rare that such a big event is coming to Singapore and I'm looking forward to competing against the world's best players.

"It will be a good experience and I hope to learn as much as I can from the stars."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore takes cue for world meet'. Subscribe