HONG KONG’S KWOK STUNS WORLD NUMBER 1 APPLETON
By Ted Lerner/WPA Press Officer
Photo courtesy of Narissa Wang/my147.com
(Shanghai, China)–After a very busy day 1 at the 2012 China Open , it’s delightfully clear that the coming three days will bring us plenty of nail biting drama, and edge of your seat matches.
In the evening session alone inside the very chilly Shanghai Pundong Yuanshen Stadium, seven out of the 24 matches on the men’s side went to a one rack decider. That’s nearly 30% of the matches that headed for the cliff. You don’t have to own a sports book to know that the odds of something dramatic happening on the way to the title on Sunday are pretty darn good.
Perhaps the biggest upset tonight was Hong Kong’s Kenny Kwok coming from behind to take down the current World 9-ball Champion and World number 1, Darren Appleton, 9-8. Kwok was behind 8-6 before tying up the match, then he broke and ran for the surprise victory. The Hong Kong native advanced to the final 32, while Appleton will get one more chance on the losers’ side on Friday.
Kwok revealed afterward that he’s been playing hurt for the last two years with a shoulder injury. He’s tried physical therapists, traditional Chinese medicine, all to no avail. Only when he gave up therapy did he get about 80% of his strength back. But tonight he was 100% mentally tough.
“In the last two years I haven’t played well at all,” Kwok said. “But today I had one of the best days in a long time. I was calm. I figured I had nothing to lose.”
Against defending champion Chris Melling, China’s Liu Wei also played like he had nothing lose and outlasted the Englishman for a 9-7 win to advance to the knockout stage. The 31 year old from Beijing, ranked 11th in China, is one of these superb local players that plays in obscurity but has wheelbarrows full of ability. Afterward the humble Liu said he was just happy to be playing the defending champion. But in the hallway away from the prying eyes of the media, he was giddy with laughter among his close friends. Winning big matches tends to do that to people.
Melling ended the day fairly roughed up as his draw of two tough Chinese players was about tough as one could ever get. Fellow Englishman Karl Boyes was also feeling a bit bruised as he also lost a hair raiser when he admittedly dogged a four ball in the deciding rack and lost 9-8 to American Oscar Dominguez. Dominguez’s victory saved face for the four-man American contingent, as he was the only one to win on day 1.
Not all matches in the men’s tournament were cliff hangers. After the lavish opening ceremony featuring singers and ballet dancers, Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann came back for the evening session and cruised past Qatar’s Waleed Majeed to qualify. World 8-ball champion Champion Chang Jung Lin also made it into the final 32 with an easy win over Vietnam’s Nguyen Anh Tuan. In first round matches the Philippines Lee Vann Corteza and Taiwan’s Fu Che Wei looked impressive in their wins.
On the women’s side all the big names appeared headed for some tasty weekend showdowns starting in the single elimination round of 16. Kelly Fisher, defending champ Fu Xiaofang, Chen Siming, Pan Xiaoting, Liu Shasha, Jasmin Ouschan, Allison Fisher, Ga Young Kim and Yu Ram Cha all made it through. The final 16, which begins on Saturday is when the ladies event is guaranteed to pick up some serious steam.
The 2012 China Open runs for four days beginning Thursday, September 13 through Sunday September 16, at the Shanghai Pudong Yuanshen Stadium in Shanghai and is a major ranking event of the WPA.
The men’s event has 64 players playing in eight groups of 8, double elimination, alternate break with four players progressing from each group to the final 32, which is then a straight knockout. The men’s event offers $176, 600 in prize money with $40,000 going to the winner.
The women start with 48 players divided into eight groups of six players, with the top two progressing to the final 16, which is then single elimination. The total prize fund for the women is $125,600 with $30,000 going to the eventual champion.
*Note: The WPA has been experiencing technical difficulties with its live scoring platform. Until we fix these issues please visit the sites of our Chinese partners for complete updated information and live scoring.
Live scoring: http://cms.top147.com/index/wl.php?cid=20
Women’s Brackets: http://www.top147.com/news/2012shpool/draw_woman.php
Men’s Brackets: http://www.top147.com/news/2012shpool/draw_man.php
*The World Pool and Billiard Association(WPA) is the governing body of the sport of pocket billiards.The 2012 China Open is being sponsored by Star Tables, Andy Cloth, Fury, Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong.
Results Men, Day 1 Evening
*Winners side matches, the winner is through to final 32, loser goes to one loss side.
*Losers side matches, the winner plays again, the loser is out.
Group A Winners Side
Kenny Kwok(HKG) 9 – 8 Darren Appleton(GBR)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 -3 Waleed Majeed(QAT)
Group A Losers Side
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 6 Corey Duel(USA)
Jusman Jimmy(INA) 9 – 5 David Van Den Berg(RSA)
Group B Winners Side
Lu Hui Chan(TPE) 9 – 8 Liu Haitao(CHN)
Chang Jung Lin(TPE) 9 – 5 Nguyen Anh Tuan(VIE)
Group B Losers Side
Daryl Peach(GBR) 9 – 8 So Shaw(IRI)
Sharlik Aslam Sayed(SIN) 9 – 7 Chao Yung Hwa(TPE
Group C Winners Side
Liu Wei(CHN) 9 – 7 Chris Melling(GBR)
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 3 Ralf Souquet(GER)
Group C Loser’s Side
Dai Yong(CHN) 9 – 5 Mark Gray(GBR)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 2 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Group D Winners Side
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 2 Nickolaso Malaj(ALB)
Fu Jian Bo(CHN) 9 – 4 Oliver Ortmann(GER)
Group D Losers Side
Lee Wan Su(KOR) 9 – 8 Chu Bingjie(CHN)
Lo Li Wen(TPE) 9 – 6 Francisco Diaz-Piazrro(ESP)
Group G(First Round Matches)
Lee Vann Corteza(PHL) 9 – 5 Marcus Chamat(SWE)
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 8 Albin Ouschan(AUT)
Fu Che-Wie(TPE) 9 – 5 Do Hoang Quan(VIE)
Liu Zheng Chieh(TPE) 9 – 6 Chen Ying Chieh(TPE)
Group H(First Round Matches)
Zhou Long(CHN) 9 – 5 Huidji See(NED)
Oscar Dominguez(USA) 9 – 8 Karl Boyes(GBR)
Han Haoxiang(CHN) 9 – 8 Zhu Xihe(CHN)
Abdulatif Al Fawal(QAT) 9 – 5 Aloysius Yapp(SIN)
Women’s Day 1
Evening, 1st Session
Winner is through to final 16, loser goes to 1 loss side
Group A winners side
Fu Xiaofang(CHN) 7 – 5 Wu Tzi-Ting(TPE)
Gao Meng(CHN) 7 – 6 Wei Tzu-Chien(TPE)
Cha Yu Ram(KOR) 7 – 1 Huyen Thi Hgoc(VIE)
Jung Bo Ra(KOR) 7 – 4 Tsai Pei-Chen(TPE)
Chen Xue(CHN) 7 – 1 Yukawa Keiko(JPN)
Liu Shasha(CHN) 7 – 0 Li Jia(CHN)
Bi Zhuqing(CHN) 7 – 4 Park Eun Ji(KOR)
Kim Ga Young(KOR) 7 – 6 Chan Ya-Ting(TPE)
Evening, 2nd Session
Winner is through to final 16, loser goes to 1 loss side
Kelly Fisher(GBR) 7 – 0 Jing Jia(CHN)
Lin Yuan Chun(TPE) 7 – 1 Han Fang(CHN)
Chou Chieh Yu(TPE) 7 – 5 Akimi Kajatani(JPN)
Allison Fisher(GBR)7 – 3 Lai Hui Shan(TPE)
Jasmin Ouschan(AUT) 7 – 6 Chichiro Kawahara(JPN)
Han Yu(CHN) 7 – 4 He Xin-Ru(TPE)
Chen Siming(CHN) 7 – 4 Iris Ranola(PHL)
Pan Xiaoting(CHN) 7 – 0 Caroline Roos(SWE)