Snooker is a big sport in China
Snooker is a big sport in China. Sources suggest there are 300 million snooker players there, which is more than the rest of the world put together.
So it's no surprise that some of the world's best players come from China. They have been showing off their talent at the World Snooker Championship, which takes place every year here in the UK at the Crucible Theatre in the northern English city of Sheffield.
The World Snooker Championship is the most important event in professional snooker in terms of prize money, prestige and world ranking points.
This year four of the contenders for World Snooker Champion were Chinese – Marco Fu, Liu Chuang, Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo. Liu Chuang and Liang Wenbo are making their debut in Sheffield this year, in fact.
However, only one of those players, Liang Wenbo, has made it to the final eight. Wenbo is currently officially ranked 53 in the world. His best performance to date was when he reached the last 32 in the 2006 Welsh Open, so to get through to the final eight in the World Championship is quite an achievement. He may go even further.
The left-handed snooker pro comes from Heilongjiang and it is hoped he will follow the success of fellow countryman Ding Junhui.
Wenbo is the first Chinese player to ever reach the quarter finals of the Championship and he just sneaked through after an extremely tough second round game against Northern Ireland's Joe Swail.
After a long and enthralling battle, Wenbo finally won 13-12 and he now faces twice World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan. This promises to be another difficult game for the Chinese rising star as O'Sullivan reached the last eight with an amazing maximum break of 147.
O'Sullivan would have picked up £157,000 (more than 2 million RMB) prize money but another player, England's Ali Carter, has now matched his achievement in the same tournament. O'Sullivan will have to share the money with Carter, and indeed with anyone else who gets a maximum break before the end of the championship.