Sports: Half of top 16 will be from China, says World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn
Half of the top 16 players in the world will be from China one day, says World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn.
At present, there are no Chinese players in the elite top 16, with 17th-placed Ding Junhui the highest ranked.
Liang Wenbo, Tian Pengfei, Xiao Guodong, Li Hang, Zhou Yuelong and Yu Delu are the only others from China currently ranked in the top 64.
“Over the next 10-15 years, China will dominate most sports. The government are pouring money in,” said Hearn.
Of the nine ranking events this season, the Shanghai Masters and China Open are played in China. In 2014, the country built its own Crucible Theatre to try to lure the World Championship away from Sheffield, which is contracted to host the tournament until 2017.
Ding, 29, is their most successful player with 11 ranking title victories, but has dropped out of the top 16 following a poor season. He had to come through three rounds of qualifying to compete at the World Championship. Read More