SHANGHAI HERE WE COME!
Shanghai, one of the great cities of the world, and China’s bustling commercial hub, will play host to the world’s best men and women pool players as the China Open kicks off June 6-12.
In just its few short years of existence, the China Open has become one of the most prestigious championships in all of professional pool. This June 68 men and 48 women will be coming from all corners of the globe to test their skills in an exciting 9-ball format and vie for one of the sport’s biggest prize funds; $162,800 for the men, and $112,800 for the women.
Fans can expect to see plenty of the sports current and rising stars. On the men’s side, the Philippines is sending a large contingent led by Hall of Famer and current World 9-ball Champion, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, and current World 8-ball champion Dennis Orcullo. Chinese-Taipei will be offering their usual powerhouse lineup, including recent Beijing Open winner Chang Jun Lin, and young star Ko Pin Yi. Host country China can now boast one of the world’s best players, with the addition of former double World Champion, Wu Jian Qing(formerly Wu Chia Ching). Wu will be joined by the likes of World 10-Ball runner up Fu Jan Bo, Lui Haitao, and Li He Wen. Europe will be led by Finland’s Mika Immonen, Great Britain’s Darren Appleton, the legendary Ralf Souquet of German, his compatriot and current Philippine Open winner, Thorsten Hohmman and many other stars from the Continent.
On the women’s side, the host country should get plenty of bang for their buck. 17 year old Siming Chen, a recent winner of the prestigious Philippine Open and the current number one ranked WPA women’s player, will be one of the favorites. Expect a strong showing too from former World 9-ball champion, and WPA number 7 Lui Sha Sha, and world number 3 Xiao-Fang Fu.
But the Chinese women will have their hands full with the likes of Korean greats Ga Young Kim(WPA ranked number 2) and recent Beijing Open winner Yu Ram Cha(WPA ranked number 8.) From Europe fans can catch World number three Jasmin Ouschan of Austria, Hall of Fame legend Allison Fisher of Great Britain, and the always tough Kelly Fisher, also of Great Britain. And, of course, ever a threat to win are the women from Chinese-Taipei, including the likes Yuan-Chun Lin and Chieh-Yu Chou.
The tournament will be run in two stages. Stage 1 will be the qualifiers and will be held at the Shanghai Qihuan Sports Club in the Pudong New Area business district from June 6-8. Each tournament will be a race to 9 for men and race to 7 for women,winner breaks. There will be three qualifiers and players can enter all three events. The best 2 men players and best 2 women players from each tournament will qualify for Stage 2.
The main competition will be run from June 9-12 and will be held at the Shanghai Pudong Yuanshen Stadium(655, Yuanshen Road, Pudong New Area). In the main event, the players will be divided into groups of eight with the double elimination format being used to determine the top four players coming from each group. 32 men and 16 women will qualify for the second part which is single elimination. All matches will be alternate break, men race to 11 and women race to 9.
Shanghai sits at the gateway to world famous Yangtze River and is roughly equidistant from two other great Chinese cities, Beijing and Hong Kong. This exciting and teeming metropolis promises to be the perfect host for the world’s best pool players. The city’s cosmopolitan and sophisticated character offers endless opportunities for touring, shopping and fun. All in all, it promises to be one glorious week of the very best in professional pool.
For more information regarding the China Open and the tournament format please click here.