By Aisin Gioro
Stage 3 of Huanan Station was eventually over today. In Stage 4, the crucial format of Single Elimination will reopen. 32 players who broke out of a tight encirclement will fight for the throne in the following 3 days.
Liu Chuang turned the table and stunned dark horse Sun Mingming. As a member of the International Dream Team, Liu enjoyed high popularity among the audience, and it was Sun Mingming who had the unenviable task of facing his opponent in front of the home crowd. However, it was Sun who drew first blood and took an enormous lead. Liu played solidly after the first time-out and arrested his opponent's slides to caught up from the behind. Finally, Liu Chuang got a close 13-11 victory.
A master-level confrontation took place between Zheng Yubo and Dai Yong. They controlled the table alternately during the early stage but Yubo missed some easy shots and face a tricky situation in the middle. The first ten racks were shared but from 5-5 Dai Yong opened up a 2-rack advantage. He kept the gap until to the end and was safely through to the Stage 4 after a commanding performance over Yubo.
In the winner's side, Yang Fan met dark horse, Zhang Bing. Yang Fan, who had looked strong early in the match, eliminated his mistakes when it mattered. Although Zhang benefited Yang Fan's missing and pulled back several rack at the end of the game, he still could not change the result of losing 5-13.
Experienced player Wang Xiaoqian once again reversed the match. His opponent Zhang Taiyi reached the hill 12-9 and looked set to take the victory. Instead, it was 12-10 and it wasn't long until there was only one rack between 2 players. Wang showed his composure and calmness in this situation, won 2 racks in a row and entered the last 32.
Stage 4 will start tomorrow with the Single Elimination format. Stay tuned and keep following ICEA Chinese Pool to make sure you won't miss it!