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Shi Hanqing Comes out on Top in China Billiard World Championship

(Translated by Chris Kuai)  The 2nd CBSA ‘Sanlig’ China Billiard World Championship final was between Shi Hanqing from China and Mick Hill from England. They played the full 41 racks and Shi Hanqing won the title with the smallest margin, 21-20.
The final was a close game from the beginning to the end, with the largest lead being 3 when Hill was 15-12 up during the second session. In rack 38, Shi Hanqing was about to grab the game point when he was up 19-18. He cut the black into the corner pocket but scratched cue ball into the side and the score came to 19-19. After each player won another rack, Mick Hill made a dry break in the decider with solid balls spreading well. Shi cleared the table to become the first male Chinese Championship in this event.
The controversial part came in late in the game when Shi Hanqing intentionally fouled on breaks twice, in rack 38 and 40 respectively. According to the rules, fouls on breaks without four balls touching the rails will leave the opponent with three options: accept the current table and play on, rerack and break or rerack and let the fouling player break again. Hill chose to take the break himself both times and won those two racks.

Shi explained the reason of intentional fouls on breaks. ‘No ball’s falling in my breaks and ball distribution appeared good for my opponent. I was winning when I slowed down the pace and play safeties, so I have to avoid dry breaks.’ said Shi Hanqing after the game. ‘I think it was the right strategy at that time but was unfortunate to lose that two racks. In fact, I was able to win the deciding rack given my opponent’s dry break.’
Chinese players made more than half of the last 16, but Shi didn’t think it means Chinese players are dominant in this game. ‘Those international players lack the experience and tactical plays in Chinese 8 ball. I was more familiar with the table and rules so that gives me an advantage and made 50% of the total contribution to my wining outcome.’

Alison Chang

Alison has had a passion for the game since she was only 9 years old. She is the photographer and owner of the website Alison-Chang.com.

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