Ms Cool takes crown right on cue

Local | Phoenix Un 21 Mar 2017

Accolades are pouring in for Hong Kong's Ng On-yee who won the World Women's Snooker Championship in Singapore early yesterday after a marathon final.

What will go down in the record books as one of the longest snooker matches ever played saw 2015 world champion Ng beating Vidya Pillai of India 6-5 in a best-of-11-frames final at the Lagoon Billiard Room in Toa Payoh, It took more than nine hours over two days to settle it.

The match that began at 4pm on Sunday had only a 45-minute break midway through. It ended at 1.29am yesterday.

The semi-final was held earlier on Sunday, with Ng defeating defending champion Reanne Evans of England, who had won 11 of 12 titles previously.

Ng moved on to face Pillai after a 45-minute break and swept the first two frames with ease. But then things went awry for 26-year-old Ng, who started making errors. So Pillai took the next four frames.

But Ng appeared revived after the 45-minute break and pulled level at 4-4. Then it went to 5-5, meaning it was going down to a final frame for the first time since 1989.

Ng opened up a lead in the 11th, but a mistake allowed Pillai to mount a comeback. In the end, however, Ng won by sinking the pink ball for a 66-56 victory,

So she got a grip once more on the trophy she first held aloft in 2015. There was also prize money of 5,000 (HK$48,000) to tuck away as she returned back in Hong Kong yesterday afternoon.

She told a welcoming crowd at the airport that after spending five hours defeating Evans in the semi-final that she had difficulty with muscle control in the middle of the final, when she fell behind.

But, she said, "we are Hongkongers, and Hongkongers will never give up. I have a slogan for myself: if you believe it you may achieve it. I didn't think that much - just believed in myself."

Her state of mind was also crucial, Ng said. "My will is stronger than before, and I'm more able to control my emotions. It's important to be lighthearted. I was too nervous in key frames in previous games and made mistakes."

Her coach, Wong Tak-wah, agreed that Ng's ability to keep check on her emotions during the 45-minute break when she was behind was crucial.

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